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Wildfire Emergency Preparedness

In California, it’s not a matter of if a wildfire will occur, but when. We encourage you to take proactive steps – many that are simple and free of cost – to protect yourself, your family and your home from wildfires. Here’s what you can do.

Wildfire Prep

Wildfire Safety begins at home

When we take the necessary precautions, our homes have a better chance of withstanding a wildfire. This starts by maintaining a home with wildfire safety in mind, especially if you live in a high-risk wildfire zone.

Increase your home's defenses

Flying embers from a wildfire can threaten homes up to a mile away. Taking the necessary measures to increase your home's defenses can help increase its chance of it withstanding a wildfire.

Six ways you can help make your home more fire-resistant:

  1. Consider building your roof or re-roof with materials such as stone, slate, metal, clay tiles or asphalt shingles, which offer the highest resistance to fire.
  2. Cover all vent openings with 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch metal screening, as flying embers can enter your house through vents.
  3. If possible, windows should be double-paneled with one pane of tempered glass recommended to reduce the chance of breakage in a fire, especially if facing large areas of vegetation.
  4. Keep rain gutters clear or enclose rain gutters to prevent the accumulation of plant debris.
  5. Cover your chimney and stovepipe outlets with a non-flammable screen. Use metal screen material with openings no smaller than 3/8-inch and no larger than 1/2-inch to prevent embers from escaping and igniting a fire.

Create a defensible space

A defensible space is the area around your home where vegetation is maintained and cleared to reduce the spread of wildfire to and from your property.

Defensible space infographic

Additional things you can do:

  • Have a fire extinguisher and tools such as a shovel, rake, bucket, and hose available for fire emergencies.
  • Store all combustible and flammable liquids away from ignition sources.
  • Make sure your address is clearly visible from the road.
  • Consider having multiple garden hoses that are long enough to reach all areas of your home and other structures on your property.
  • Consider maintaining access roads to your home with a minimum of 10 feet of clearance on either side, allowing for two-way traffic. Ensure that all gates open inward and are wide enough to accommodate fire and emergency vehicles.