Brush / Fire clearance

The fire season can be extremely dangerous. Dry grasses, weeds, brush growth, and/or combustible debris on the property need to be evaluated for removal.

By correctly developing a sustainable, low fuel landscape in the 100 feet around your home, you can provide a defensible space in wild fires. Think of your property as a two zones of fire risk.

The first zone is 25-35feet from any structure. This area serves as a defensible space around the structure, and gives firefighters access. Small plants and ground covers are appropriate in zone one. Keeping trees trimmed 10 feet away from roofs, chimneys, and remove flammable vegetation within 30 feet immediately surrounding structures. The first zone should be maintained on a regular schedule.

In the second zone create a “Reduced fuel zone” in the remaining 70 feet. Create horizontal and vertical spacing between plants. The amount of space will depend on how steep the property is and the size of the plants. Large trees do not need to be removed as long as the plants beneath them are removed. Remove lower tree branches at least six feet from the ground. Thin and prune native and non-native plant material to reduce the fuel. Remove all invasive exotic species of plants, and control all annual invasive plants. Landscape wherever possible with fire resistant plant material or low fuel plant material. (The San Diego county fire dept. has a list of plants native and non-native for this purpose) Maintain all plants with regular watering. Remove dead branches, leaves, and needles and debris on a regular basis to prevent a ‘Build-up’. The second zone should be maintained on a seasonal basis.

City of San Diego brush management & weed abatement regulations links

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