Defensible space is the buffer area you create between your home or business and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surrounds it. Embers are the leading cause of home loss during a wildfire. They can travel up to three miles ahead of the main flame front. To reduce the chances of embers or flames igniting your yard or home, be thoughtful about which plants you choose, the landscape arrangement, and the outdoor furniture. Well-maintained defensible space can give your home an increased chance of surviving a wildfire, even if firefighters cannot reach your home. Even though defensible space can significantly increase the chances of your home surviving a wildfire, it does not guarantee that a building will not be lost or damaged during a wildfire.
The Oregon Department of State Fire Marshal has a variety of resources available to our community to help in planning and assessing your defensible space in both English and Spanish. To learn more go to www.oregondefensiblespace.org.