Make Creating Defensible Space Part of Your Spring Cleaning

Before Juniper Removed
Lots of Juniper before

Summer wildfire season is just around the corner and now is the time to create some defensible space around your home. You have read the stories, seen the pictures on TV, and heard homeowners talk about the devastation they returned to after a wildfire. Most of that devastation could have been prevented with some planning and a little weekend work in the yard.
If you live next to nature, here are a few tips to prevent fires from starting near or spreading to your home.

  • Create a 30-foot defensible space around your home that is free of combustible material

  • Clean up dead or dying plants, branches, leaves, and needles

  • During fire season, move woodpiles 30 feet from the home.

  • Remove flammable plants and replace with fire-resistant species.

  • Prune tree branches to a height of 6-10 feet to remove “ladder fuels.”

  • Cut grass to less than four inches

  • Keep shrubs low and away from the drip line of trees

  • Maintain driveway clearance that is free of flammable debris to allow fire engine access

  • Go to, for more information on preparing your home for wildfire

(Information and photos are courtesy of the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, and the Keep Oregon Green Association.)


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