Firewise for homeowners


Prescriptions - Living with Fire: Firewise

Text from Creating a Firewise Property PDFgraphic showing intensive zone


Intensive Zone is 30 feet, measured from the edges of the structure. Within this zone, several specific treatments are recommended.

Graphic showing extensive zoneExtensive Zone is 70 to 100 feet (or more) around your structures. It is an area of fuel reduction designed to reduce the intensity of any fire approaching your home. Follow these recommended management steps.

graphic showing general management zoneGeneral Management Zone (GMZ) is of no specified size. It extends from the edge of your defensible space to your property lines. In this area, you are encouraged to manage your forests in a more traditional manner. Typical management objectives for areas surrounding home sites or subdivisions are: provide for recreational opportunities, aesthetics, tree health, and wind, noise, dust and visual barriers. Some sites may support limited production of firewood, fence posts, Christmas trees, and other forest commodities.

Driveway Standards
photograph of a firewise drivewayDuring a wildfire, firefighters will not drive their engine into your driveway if they feel it is unsafe for them to do so. What makes a safe driveway? Basically it is the same as defensible space around your home: Clearing and thinning vegetation from the roadway both horizontally and vertically, as well as providing a turnaround big enough for the engine, and turnouts to provide room for other vehicles to pass by safely.


Fuel is required for any fire to burn. With regards to wildfire, fuels almost always consist of vegetation, both living and dead (trees, shrubs, dried grasses, fallen branches, etc.) Houses, when involved in a wildfire, become a source of fuel. The amount, size, moisture content, arrangement, and other fuel characteristics influence ease of ignition, rate of fire spread, length of flames produced, and other fire behaviors.