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Morgan Hill
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October 16, 2021

State law requires clearance of vegetation from around home for fire protection

EDITOR: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
(CDF) reminds people that having defensible space around their home
is not just a suggestion – it is California law (Public Resources
Code (PRC) 4291). Violation of PRC 4291 is an infraction punishable
by a fine of not less than $100, nor more than $500. Fines are
increased for a second violation, and a third violation becomes a
misdemeanor.
EDITOR:

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) reminds people that having defensible space around their home is not just a suggestion – it is California law (Public Resources Code (PRC) 4291). Violation of PRC 4291 is an infraction punishable by a fine of not less than $100, nor more than $500. Fines are increased for a second violation, and a third violation becomes a misdemeanor.

Here are the state law requirements:

• Clear flammable vegetation or other combustible growth from around your home. A minimum 30 feet or to the property line, whichever is nearer the required distance. But additional clearance up to 100 feet depending on the wildfire risk where you live may be needed.

• Remove that portion of any tree that extends within 10 feet of the outlets of any chimney or stovepipe.

• Maintain any tree adjacent to or overhanging any building, free of dead or dying wood.

• Maintain the roof of any structure free of leaves, needles, or other dead vegetative growth.

• Screen chimneys with non-flammable mesh. Mesh opening should not be more than one-half inch in size.

Additional precautions include not planting trees under power lines, clearing all vegetation and other flammable materials from underneath deck areas, and stacking firewood and other flammable materials away from all structures.

Defensible space is an area around your home that will help protect it from wildfire and provide a safety zone for firefighters battling the flames. Flammable vegetation is to be removed, but this does not mean you have to live with a ring of bare dirt around your home.

You can create a defensible space and also beautify your property. Landscaping that doesn’t rapidly transmit fire from the native growth to any building or structure creates space. For more information on defensible space, visit our website at www.fire.ca.gov/education/firesafety.asp

Abiding by the law and taking precautions to make your home fire safe benefits you, protects your family and valuable assets and makes your residence defensible in the event of a fire. If you have any questions or would like to request a home clearance inspection, please contact the nearest CDF station or local fire department, or email a request to [email protected] For more information on how you can be fire safe, visit our website at www.fire.ca.gov. Remember, defensible space is your responsibility

Chris Morgan, Information Officer,

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection,

Morgan Hill

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