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The City of Carlsbad is known for is abundant natural open space, which is enjoyed by residents all year long. When nature is your neighbor, however, it's important to take precautions against wildfires.

Create defensible space

Defensible space is the area around a structure where flammable foliage and materials that can spread fire have been cleared, reduced or replaced. This space acts as a barrier between a structure and an advancing fire and its embers. Defensible space is not just the “fire suppression zone” within the natural open space areas. Your backyard and the area adjacent to your home is just as, and sometimes even more, important. Read our handout with step by step instructions for creating defensible space.

Zone 1 (0-20 feet from your home)

  • Reduce the chance of wind blown embers catching materials near your home on fire.
  • Remove debris from gutters.
  • Cover attic, foundation and other vents with 1/8 inch metal mesh screens.
  • Use rock or gravel mulch instead of wood chips in this area, and brick or concrete walkways. Keep firewood, lumber and other flammable materials away from your home.
  • You may plant fire-resistant, irrigated landscaping in this area.

Zone 2 (20-40 feet from your home)

  • Create a landscape that is not as likely to spread fire to your home.
  • You may keep natural vegetation in this area.
  • Native plants/shrubs that are retained should be thinned in a mosaic pattern (with space between plants).
  • Grass or weeds should be cut back to no more than four inches above the ground.
  • Move trailers/RVs, storage sheds and other flammable structures out of this area. If unable to move, create defensible space around them.

 Zone 3 (40-60 feet from your home)

  • Thinning and regular maintenance will help to reduce the strength and speed of fire in this area.
  • Remove dead plants and tree branches.
  • Thin and separate trees and shrubs.

Watch these videos to learn more





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