Defensible Space: Protecting Your Home and Property from Wildfire

Defensible Space: Protecting Your Home and Property from Wildfire


Some things I’d like to talk about are defensible space. There’s several things home owners can do to have good defensible space. You can clear around your lot, put down gravel on the ground, get rid of all of the needles, all the dead limbs, the dead wood, It’s a great idea to space your trees out so you don’t have a tight tree crown together. And also limb those trees up to get rid of the, what we call ladder fuels which is the lower limbs. Which if you have a ground fire can carry fire all the way up to the top of the tree. So remove the lower limbs. Other things, build with firewise material such as a metal roof. If you can, cement and steel is a great building material. There are also several other options to build decks out of that are very non flammable and are not prone to burning down in the event that embers land on them. Also other things you can do is your lawn furniture take it off your porches, you know, put it in your house if you’re away from your house or cabin, your home. It’s always just something that can save some time from an ember landing on it and catching it. Another thing to remember is to move the wood pile off the porch. Wood piles are very suseptible to embers and have resulted in a number of houses that had good defensible space still burning to the ground. So it’s always good to remove flammables away from your house, check your roofs for any needle thatch or if you have gutters, check your gutters as well. Basically look for those things that if fire doesn’t get here directly, that if embers fall from the column and land on your property or your home it still may have a good chance if you take some precautions and do some clean up around your house and on your home.

3 Replies to “Defensible Space: Protecting Your Home and Property from Wildfire”

  1. It can vary depending on slope, but in a flat ground situation with no under story vegetation I would recommend a minimum of 6 feet from the ground. If you have vegetation growing under the canopy I would trim it 6'-10'+ above the top of that vegetation and remove vegetation under canopies when possible. On steeper slopes you may need to lift limbs higher, especially on the uphill side of the slope since flame lengths increase on inclines. I work in fire prevention and defensible space in SoCal.

  2. Thanks, I live in Missouri and the area around our home is level for several hundred feet in all directions. Our North side is open to the woods, which I think is a benefit, as most of our summer winds come from the South West. But I very much want to work on this project a tree at a time and 8' would be a nice clearance for a view and fire protection. So thankful things are pretty green in our area. Thanks for your service to our forest.

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