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Preparing a defensible space for your home

Posted at 9:41 AM, Jun 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-05 12:41:41-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Right now, fire crews are preparing for what they expect could be a hefty fire season. With that in mind, Kern County is cracking down on homeowners to prepare their properties and reduce fire hazards.

“More or less they’re looking for is that 100 feet around the home," said Kern County Fire's Andrew Freeborn.

It’s wildfire season, but fire crews want you to know it’s not only mountain areas at risk of fire damage.

“The drought makes everything more intense," Freeborn said. "Now you have a longer period of time in which you can have a high likelihood of fire starting, and because it is already so dry because of the drought it’s easily ignitable and it spreads quickly.”

Fire departments across the state are pushing residents to monitor and prepare a defensible space around their home, meaning reducing the material around your property that’s at risk of catching fire from embers, direct flame, or radiant heat.

“With other dry grasses, a fire like this can easily spread to from one building to the next, but it can also spread across to other areas and other businesses," Freeborn said.

Now Kern County Fire’s defensible space inspectors will be looking out for things like, dry brush or grass, dying plants and trees, and low hanging branches. Anything that could easily help a small spark spread to your property and further. Something as simply as a minor malfunction while mowing your lawn or barbecuing in your backyard could spark a flame and spread to your home

“You can think of dry grasses and dry brush as links in a chain, so remove those links in the chain, remove that ability for the fire to move and spread, remove and clean your property.”

California state law requires three zones of defensible space zone one and two make up the first 100 feet around your property. The third zone is an ember-resistance zone extending zero to five feet from any structure or deck. Crews will also be on the lookout for vertical clearance space.

If you need help clearing out materials, you can visit Kerncountyfire.org for a full list of service providers.