Wildfire Safety

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Throughout Southern California, wildfire danger is a year-round threat. During the 2007 Firestorm, the potential for disaster was dramatically demonstrated. On this page you will find information that you can use to help make your home and family more fire safe all year round.

Defensible Space

The vegetation around your home becomes extremely dangerous as it dries out and summer temperatures rise. Clearing a defensible space of 100 feet for existing homes and 150 feet for homes built after January 1, 2004 will help save lives and property.

Wildfire Safety

Defensible space is an area around a structure where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire towards the structure. Defensible space provides room for firefighters to effectively and safely defend a structure and reduces the chance of a structure fire moving from the building to the surrounding vegetation.

Within your 100 to 150-foot defensible space, you should maintain your landscape with low growing plants such as ground cover and drought tolerant, fire-resistive plants. To create defensible space and protect your home in the event of a wildfire, follow these tips: Creating defensible space involves the clearing of flammable vegetation such as pine and eucalyptus trees, and the clearing of grasses, brush, and trees, to a minimum of 100 feet from the structure for existing homes and 150 feet for new homes.

  • For recommendations on drought tolerant and fire resistant landscape, contact the City’s Planning Department.
  • Contact the Fire Department for vegetation thinning and clearing requirements
  • Trim trees and shrubs away from buildings and provide 10 feet clearance around chimneys.
  • For all trees, prune limbs within six feet of the ground to prevent ground fires from spreading upward into the trees.
  • Remove dead leaves and pine needles from roofs and rain gutters.
  • Keep your property free of accumulated combustibles such as dried vegetation, cuttings, woodpiles and combustible junk.
  • Keep roads and driveways well cleared of trees and brush to permit access for fire equipment.
  • Clearly mark addresses. Use numbers that contrast in color to background.
  • Keep wood fences in good condition. Replace rotten wood.

For further information, please click on the following links:

San Marcos Fire Department
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 744-1050, ext. 3410

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