Defensible Space

Research on why homes survive or don’t survive a wildfire point to embers and small flames as the main culprit for how a majority of homes ignite in wildfires. Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris, and other objects. Maintaining the home ignition zone interrupts, the path of the fire as it moves towards structures. 


Reducing and spacing fuels (trees, vegetation, and debris) can keep a wildfire on the ground near homes, where it is less likely to ignite structures.  The home ignition zones are defined as the distance from a home with specific types of landscaping recommendations. 


The home ignition zone has three zones, defined as a distance from a home, with specific types of landscaping.

Zone 1: The Home Ignition Zone: 0-30 feet

Lean, Clean, and Green!

Zone 2: The Intermediate Zone: 30-100 feet

Reduce plant density and height

Zone 3: The Managed Wildland Zone: 100+ feet

Thin and prune existing plants

The wildfire stopped because this property owner had completed preventive work to maintain a LEAN, GREEN & CLEAN zone around the house.