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Defending Against Wildfires

Published on: 2/13/2013 4:18 PM

​In Santa Clara County, you can look to the west or look to the east and you’ll see our wildland interface in our hills.  According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF), as many as 80% of the homes lost to wildfires in the past could have been saved if the owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices, most of them mandated by local ordinances or building codes.  Defend yourself from the next major fire that threatens our community by taking appropriate measures now.

  • Clear all flammable vegetation within 30 feet of the structure.
  • Cut small trees and brush to leave widely spaced, larger trees.
  • Maintain a well-pruned landscape.
  • Trim tree limbs within 10 feet of your chimney and dead limbs hanging over your house.
  • Clean all needles and leaves from the roof, eaves, and rain gutters.
  • Maintain a well-watered landscape or use drought-resistant plants that won’t increase your fire risk.
  • Select low-growing and less-flammable plants when landscaping your home.
  • Plant larger trees no closer than six feet from the structure.
  • Treat wood shingle roofs with fire retardants on a regular basis.
  • If you build a new home or re-roof your present home, use fire-retardant roofing materials.
  • Cover your chimney outlet or vent with a vertical spark arrester of ½” mesh screen.
  • Ensure your address is clearly marked and visible.
  • Make sure that neighborhood or street signs are clearly identified to assist firefighters in locating your home in an emergency.
  • Ensure adequate access to your home and property to enable firefighters and their equipment to quickly reach a fire.
  • Identify two escape routes from your property.
  • Maintain a minimum water storage supply of 2,500 gallons for use in emergency situations.
(Attribution:  California Department of Forestry)
For More Information Please Contact:
Office of Emergency Services
55 W. Younger Avenue
Suite 450
San Jose, CA 95110
Fax: 408-294-4851
Phone: 408-808-7800