Severe Santa Ana winds combined with drought conditions and intense heat can create the prime environment for wildfires to spring up. Residents of Southern California know that when the conditions are right, these wildfires can turn from devastating to deadly in a matter of minutes. However, properties with a well-maintained defensible space of 100 feet can better escape the wrath of a wildfire.
Defensible space is the area around a structure that acts as a barrier between a structure and an advancing fire. Combustible vegetation within a defensible space must be reduced or replaced.
To help business and commercial property owners and managers safeguard their property from wildfires according to San Diego County ordinances, Heaviland Landscape Management provides the following tips for creating defensible space:
- Plant fire-resistant, irrigated landscaping in the first 50 feet around your structure. These plants need to be maintained year-round.
- Trim plants that live 50-100 feet from your buildings to no more than 6 inches in height.
- Do not remove or disturb the existing plant root system to prevent any future erosion.
- Remove dead and dying vegetation.
- Trim trees that overhang or touch your structures.
“Heaviland is responsible for maintaining defensible space areas in numerous home ownership associations, municipal and commercial properties,” said Rajan Brown, vice president of Design, Construction and Sustainability for Heaviland Landscape Management. “Fire is a natural part of our native ecosystems in San Diego County. It is important to recognize this fact and proactively manage your landscape.”