PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, April 19, 2012

Maintaining a Defensible Space Around Your Home

The ability of your home to survive a wildfire depends on its construction materials and the quality of the defensible space surrounding it.

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.

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