Wildfire will always be a part of the California landscape. Helping homeowners and residents achieve greater wildfire resiliency will take a coupled approach and greater awareness of ember protection. Homes survive wildfire through a combination of:
- Careful design and maintenance of landscaping
- Awareness and management of combustible materials on the property (e.g., leaf litter, wood piles, and lawn furniture).
- Incorporation of fire- and ember-resistant construction materials with appropriate installation and maintenance.
Use the following resources to understand your risks, identify resources, and to develop strategies to substantially improve the odds a home will survive a future wildfire. These actions do not have to be costly, but they do require an understanding of the three types of exposures a home may experience when threatened by wildfire.
Identify Your Local Fire Hazard Ranking
Defensible space does more than just preventing fire from reaching your home. Defensible space gives fire fighters a safe area from which they can defend your property.
Embers are the primary cause of home ignition during fire. Choosing the right building materials and design features to reduce the influence of embers on your home can drastically improve your home's chances of survival.
Home landscaping in California must consider threat from fire. The best plants are low lying species with strong root systems that can easily respond to fire.
- Texas, (2014) Environmental Best Management Practices for Wildfire Risk Reduction and Recovery, Wildfire Ready Austin
- DeGomez, Jones, (2013) Fire Safety for Wildland Homes, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
- Quarles, S.L. et al. (2010) Home Survival in Wildfire-Prone Areas: Building Materials and Design Considerations, UC Agricultural and Natural Resources
- Alexander, M.E. (2006) You are about to be entrapped or burned over by a wildfire: what are your survival options?, Forest Ecology and Management