American River Watershed Institute
Fire Safety Project | Problem: Fire in California

Homeowner Responsibility for Fire Safety

Wildfire is a hazard wherever people and residential developments intermix with the wildlands. There is a baseline of fire prevention or fire safe activities that must be applied to obtain a basic level of protection.

Many homeowners are not aware of the requirements of defensible space, especially new residents who move to the area from highly urban areas where it is normal to expect a fire engine, or even multiple engines, to be dedicated to fighting a structure fire. During a wildfire, this is not feasible. Homes and other structures must be able to withstand an approaching wildfire with no assistance from firefighters. Also, fire fighters will not defend a home unless they can do so safely.

Citizens within these areas must be educated about the dangers of living in these fuels. They need to take an active role in being a land steward and reduce the fuels around their structures. Creating "defensible space" around these structures is the single best thing a resident can accomplish to protect their property.