How to create a ‘defensible space’ in case of wildfires

Bay Area

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Contra Costa County Fire Protection District is bringing back its full response for wildfires.

“Fire weather is once again upon us, earlier than in recent years, and seemingly more
dangerous with fire behaviors normally not seen until July and August,” said Fire Chief Lewis T.
Broschard III, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “I urge all residents to prepare for
the possibility of wildfires now by practicing weed abatement and defensible space creation and
reviewing plans for evacuation, should it become necessary.”

The announcement came Monday as wildfire season resumes in California.

With initiating full response, Con Fire will have at least five firefighting apparatus and crews ready to battle a reported fire. During the winter months, the fire district only had a minimum of a single engine responding to fires since there was a lower threat of major fires.

Wildfire season has come earlier than usual, after a dry winter with barely any rainfall.

The lack of wet weather, combined with higher temperatures and gusty winds make for dangerous conditions for fire to spark and spread fast.

“Owner preparation of properties is the single most effective thing that can be done to save
homes and businesses ahead of possible wildfires,” said Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal Chris
Bachman, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “Investment in fire safe preparation
today can buy the time tomorrow for firefighters to arrive and protect structures from wildfire
loss. The owner who abates weeds and creates defensible space can truly make a difference,
which early season fires have already demonstrated.”

Con Fire recommends homeowners are equipped for potential fires by ensuring their property has a defensible space.

A defensible space is a perimeter that is 30-100 feet out from a home/building and deck. It’s fireproofed by being clear of dead plants, trees or other vegetation as well as branches.

Plants and trees should have enough spacing so fires can not easily jump between them.

The grass should be no taller than 4 inches.

Check this wildfire defensible space guide for more details.

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