Preparing For California Wildfire Protection

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

Northern California has had its share of reported wildfires these past few days. We are in need of raindrops to provide relief to parched soil.  Couple with this fact, we are in the midst of a heat-wave which has us enduring temperatures hitting the 100+ degree mark with an abundance of dry grass and timber. We are currently vulnerable to even more fires. 

It’s likely to be a rough wildfire year! We received less than normal precipitation this past winter. Dry grass is considered the new "California Gold."  Our region of the United States often spends summer months concerned about tender box status for wild fires. It is sad to see the devastation and stress these fires place on natural habitat and wildlife.


However, there is protective action homeowners, 
especially rural homeowners, can make to alleviate some risk to personal safety and property, in the event of wildfires.

California has state law, State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (BOF), in effect which extends defensible space clearance around homes and structures to 100 feet. It has been found that proper clearance to 100 feet dramatically increases the chance of homes surviving a wildfire. This defensible space also provides for more safety for firefighters when they are trying to protect homes during a wildfire.

It is important to note California defensible space policy is much more than policy...It's the law!  For a complete list of recommended items to include in an emergency kit, you can visit the "Be Prepared California" website. The site also includes other preparedness information. 


Comments (11)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Myrl Jeffcoat I hope you're distant from all the wild fires.... stay safe....that's the last thing folks in Cal. need while continuing to deal with Covid-19 !!

Jul 11, 2020 03:35 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Myrl - there is much that can be done to protect against wildfires but some of it is out of our control. Proper planning does help but does not eliminate all risks.  

Jul 11, 2020 04:08 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

That's an interesting link to the defensible space. We attended a land management class and I remembered the 30 feet rule, but not the 100. But I did read that and it appears we have a little more clearing to do.....


Jul 11, 2020 05:01 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat

Kat - In January 2005, California changed the 30 food defensible space rule to 100.  

Jul 11, 2020 08:21 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Myrl California has been devastated by wildfires in recent years, I pray you are spared from them this year.

Jul 11, 2020 05:03 AM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

To make matters worse, there is a shortage of wildland fire fighters this year with the pandemic raging. Holding my breath....November rains are a long way away.

Jul 11, 2020 07:14 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat

Yes, it is being reported that because of the pandemic, we are experiencing a shortage of fire fighters.

Jul 11, 2020 08:22 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Myrl Jeffcoat - This is good information for Californians and all who live in the southwest to heed.  I recently saw an image of a Phoenix house that was saved because the owner took the precautions to clear around the property. The fire came right up to that cleared area. 

In Sedona's Oak Creek Canyon, the forest service clears dead trees and sets small controllable fires to get rid of the dead grass and shrubbery.  It creates a smokey area but we know why they are doing it. This is serious stuff. 

Jul 11, 2020 07:58 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


As California residents that mailer comes around every year.  In Napa we had 3 acres, and the frontage had to be mowed down every year.  Here as we drive to the wine country, all the sides of the road foliage and grasses have been mowed. A

Jul 11, 2020 11:00 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Myrl Jeffcoat - Right now, your photographic scenic view for this fire safety warning is absolutely gorgeous. Only people can help prevent forest fires. I didn't realize the drought has begun and the danger is real. Your paragraph that begins with:  "It’s likely to be a rough wildfire year! is very important! I sure hope it gets FEATURED! The words needs to get out!


Jul 11, 2020 04:58 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Myrl what  post as I comment here in Los Angeles there are still idiots setting off fireworks and we had a warm day too 93 it is sad and scary most of the fires could be prevented, Endre

Jul 11, 2020 11:10 PM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Myrl, Good to note that there is some protection if homeowners listen to the warnings. This is an important message to help prevent wildfire damage...

Jul 12, 2020 07:41 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Take care, Myrl. Be safe and have an outstanding summer.

Jul 13, 2020 06:15 AM