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What is Defensible Space and Its Role Against Wildfires

Defensible Space’s Central Role in Fire Mitigation

Defensible space is the first 200 feet around your home which creates a buffer that’s intended to stop or slow the spread of flames, decrease exposure to radiating heat, limit as many flammable materials which could contribute to spreading the fire. It’s really important for fire-fighters to have this space in an event of a fire so that they can come in and protect your structure in a safe manner. In California, a state very prone to wildfires, proper land clearing is vital when it comes to responsible property management.

Defensible Space Division

Defensible space is divided into 3 zones.

Zone A – Immediate Zone, Your Building and the First 30-feet

Zone A extends out to the first 30 feet, includes the structure and the area around it out from the home’s furthest attached exterior point. In this zone, be sure to remove all dead plants, grass, dry leaves, and pine needles from your yard or roof. Consider removing items such as doormats or hanging baskets made from fibrous material as well. Use gravel mulch here and remove highly combustible plants such as Pine, Eucalyptus, or Cedar.

The construction of the home itself should be built using ignition-resistant materials. Screen any openings with 1/8″ metal mesh to block embers from collecting inside the home or under decks. Trim trees regularly to keep branches at least 10 feet away from structures and provide separation from other trees. Create separation among shrubs and items that could catch fire such as patio furniture.

Zone B – Intermediate Zone, From 30 to 100-feet (Clean and Green)

Zone B should consist of a greenbelt that’s a maximum height of 3 inches. Surround islands of fire-resistant plant material with rock or brick retaining walls and/or well-watered turf. If you stopped watering your landscape all together to conserve water, remove all dead plants and grasses and replace them with permeable pavers. 

Trees and shrubs here should be limited to small clusters to break up the vegetation across the landscape’s continuity. Consider using hardscapes, water features, or dry river beds as a means to both decorate the landscape and make it more resistant to fires. With regards to tree placement, it should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than 10 feet to the structure’s edge.

Zone C – Extended Zone, 100-feet and Beyond (Pruned and Groomed leading to Natural Vegetation)

Bear in mind that your property line may end prior to 100 feet. In instances like these, working together with your neighbor is essential to help protect multiple properties. In this zone, remove plants prone to accumulate dead material such as Bougainvillea, Lavander or Acacia and invasives such as Caster Bean and Tree of Heaven. Maintain this zone by thinning and pruning, removing dead and dying plants, and doing periodic fertilization and irrigation, as needed. Relocate woodpiles and propane tanks on gravel or concrete pads at least 30-feet away from structures and create separation with non-flammable fencing. Trees that are 30-60 feet from the home should have at least 12 feet between canopy tops. Trees 60-100 feet from the home should have at least six feet between canopy tops.

Creating Defensible Space Through Tree Removal and Brush Clearing

Creating defensible space depends on a variety of factors. Among them are each building’s size and shape, construction materials, the ground slope, the surrounding topography, and the vegetation on your property’s sizes and types. In fact, California law requires homeowners to maintain a defensible space of at least 200 feet around their residences. Among the options to create defensible space are tree removal and brush clearing.

Get Professionals To Do Tree Removal

It goes without saying that trees near residential and commercial properties are a huge risk during a wildfire. Despite this, many people, from the standpoint of wildfire preparation and prevention, try to remove trees on their own. 

Since it’s obvious that that requires professional training, equipment, and even supervision, among other things, it’s not a surprise then that there have been numerous recorded accidents in which people hurt themselves or damaged their property while trying to do so. Why take the risk? The best and safest option for you is to hire a professional. Obviously, you want the highest level of preparation and prevention possible, right?

 Why Brush Clearing Requires a Pro’s Hand

The same can be said of brush clearing. Even though when compared to tree removal, this may sound like an easier task for an individual to take on, that is the wrong way to look at things here as well. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, smaller brushfires have been started accidentally by residents engaged in brush clearing. 

Not to mention the fact that like tree removal, brush clearing, too, requires an approach and methods that only a professional can bring to the table. The fact that Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance in 2017 (it is still effective) to increase requirements concerning brush clearing and fire safety in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones is a testament to the serious approach such activities require. So, you probably see now why your best course of action is hiring professionals to do brush clearing for you.

Get Help to Create Defensible Space Around Your Property – Hire Green Leaf Zone Today!

Once again, the importance of creating defensible space cannot be understated. Why, then, wouldn’t you protect yourself, your home, and your family, your neighbors, and surrounding area? Why put yourself and others in a position of risks when the solution is simple? Act now. Hire Green Leaf Zone, the #1 tree removal and brush clearing service in Los Angeles. 

Thanks to the 24/7 emergency services we offer and our experienced and certified team, you will feel safe. If you want to get the best service, we’re just what you need. In addition, Green Leaf Zone, an essential business, will provide you with the best tree removal and brush clearing services at an affordable price. For more info, reach Green Leaf Zone 24/7 at (818) 452-3470 or email us at [email protected].

 You can also fill out our form for a free consultation.

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