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Cal Fire game plan for structure defense

This is the Cal Fire step by step game plan for creating your structure defense plan.

Step 1 – Remove all dead and dying vegetation on your property; beginning at your structures and moving out to a minimum of 100 feet. Clearing an area of 30 feet immediately surrounding your home is the critical lean, clean and green zone. This zone must have all flammable vegetation and other combustible growth removed. Single specimens of healthy and well maintained trees or other vegetation may be retained provided they are well spaced, well pruned and healthy.

Step 2 – Remove all brush under and around your trees. Large trees do not have to be cut and removed as long as all of the plants beneath them are removed. This eliminates a vertical “fire ladder.”

Step 3 –Create horizontal and vertical clearance for shrubs and trees. This is crucial to slowing the spread of wildfire. The best option for your property will be based on its characteristics (slope, vegetation size, type etc. – along with other fuel characteristics). Clearance between shrubs should be 4 to 40 feet depending on the slope of the land and size of vegetation. Trees should be spaced from 10 to 30 feet from edge of one tree canopy to the edge of the next tree depending on the slope.

Step 4 – Select less flammable plants for your Lean, Clean and Green Zone: Shorter plants (less than 2 feet), if kept healthy and green, herbaceous plants (grass and non-woody flowers) are better choices than shrubs and trees. Avoid planting juniper, pine, eucalyptus and palms. Wildfire is a serious threat to lives, property and natural resources in our area. Your local Cal Fire personnel make countless preparations and train frequently in order to be ready for all types of emergencies, including wildfire. Residents need to do the same. A home within one mile of wind driven embers is at risk. Are you prepared?

Additional steps and information may be obtained at your local Cal Fire station, calling (209) 966-3622, or on the Cal Fire website ReadyForWildfire.org.

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