Throughout California, wildfire danger is a year-round threat. Emergency preparedness is a top priority and the City of San Marcos is committed to keeping the community safe, especially during a disaster.
Residents are an important part of emergency planning and preparedness. These simple steps can help protect you, your family and property from wildfire.
MAINTAIN DEFENSIBLE SPACE
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.
Reducing fuel loads and vegetation around a home greatly improves the survivabilty of a structure during a wildfire. Be sure to provide clearance and choose appropriate fire-resistant plantings.
MANAGE YOUR LANDSCAPE
Keep the fuels and vegetation area 30 to 50 feet immediately around a home or structure treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire. Drought tolerant and fire resistive plants are the best choices for this area. If you think your property contains rare, threatened or endangered species or sensitive habitat, contact the City’s Planning Division at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3237.
REDUCE FUEL ZONE
Within the remaining 70 to 150 feet* of defensible space, plants should be horizontally and vertically spaced, and native vegetation should be thinned. Lower tree branches at least six feet from the ground should be removed.
(*Minimum of 100 feet from structures built prior to January 1, 2004 and 150 feet for those built after.)
CHECK YOUR STRUCTURE
- Decks, patios and fences: Limit combustible structures attached to your residence – such as decks, patios and fences.
- Wood piles: Keep combustible debris such as stacked wood piles away from your home’s walls.
- Dead leaves: Remove dead leaves and other debris from under solar panels, eaves and gutters.
- Tree branches: Dead tree branches hanging over a roof should be cut back.
KEEP ACCESS OPEN
- Address visibility: Make sure your home address is posted on a highly contrasting background and clearly visible from the street, especially at night.
- Clear Vegetation: Clear flammable vegetation to at least 10 feet from roads and cut back overhanging tree branches.
- Turn-arounds: Keep turn-arounds on dead-end roads and long driveways clear for emergency vehicles.
HAVE AN EVACUATION PLAN
- Evacuation plan: Your plan should include escape routes out of the wildfire area and a meeting place.
- Exit routes: Identify at least two exit routes from your home and neighborhood.
- Consideration: Consideration should be given to pets, important documents, medication and irreplaceable items.
KNOW YOUR EMERGENCY NUMBERS
- 911: If you see fire or smell smoke, your first line of defense is calling 9-1-1.
- REVERSE 911: Register your mobile phone for Reverse 911 emergency calls via AlertSanDiego by visiting www.readysandiego.com.
PROTECT YOUR HOME
- Roof: Roof or re-roof using non-combustible materials such as composition, metal or tile.
- Vents: Ensure vents are ember-resistive to prevent the intrusion of flying embers.
- Eaves and soffits: Ensure eaves and soffits (arches, overhangs and balconies) are protected with non-combustible materials.
- Windows: Windows should be dual-paned with one pane of tempered glass to reduce the chance of breaking during a fire.
- Walls: Walls should be built with ignition-resistant materials such as stucco, fiber cement, stone veneer or fire-retardant treated wood.
- Decks: Ensure decks within 10 feet of a building are built with ignition-resistant or non-combustible materials.
Residents should register all cell phones with AlertSanDiego, www.readysandiego.org. to receive emergency notifications.
During an emergency, residents should stay updated on the latest local safety information by visiting the City’s website; following the City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the handle @sanmarcoscity; registering for e-notifications; and turning radios to AM 1610.