The Santa Barbara County Fire Department offers these tips to homeowners to assist in maintaining a defensible space around your home:
• Landscape with plants that have fire-resistant characteristics.
• Maintain your defensible space by thinning vegetation at least 100 feet or more from all structures.
• Space individual or clumps of native trees and shrubs at least ten feet apart and remove the lower six feet of branches on trees taller than eighteen feet.
• Maintain plants by watering as needed, and by removing dead or dry growth, leaves and needles.
• Contact your local utility company prior to pruning near power lines or planting trees close to any power lines.
• Be aware that most birds nest from March to September. Make sure that fuel management activities do not disturb nests.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds home owners that a maintained defensible space will increase your home’s, and possibly your family’s, safety and survival during a wildfire.