Fire Safety & Homeowner Tips

Defensible Space - Ten Homeowner Safety Tips for Protecting your Home from Wildfire

Creating defensible space around your property is one of the most important things you can do to reduce wildfire risk, protect your home, and help firefighters. Research shows that the majority of homes burned during a wildfire ignite as a result of embers or small flames. During windy conditions, embers can be carried long distances, causing spot fires and home ignitions far from a wildfire. With more people living in fire-prone areas, private landowners and local communities play a critical role in creating fire-resilient landscapes and fire-adapted communities.

These ten maintenance tips can help protect your home and neighborhood from wildfire:

  1. Clear leaves and other debris from roofs, gutters, porches and decks. This helps prevent embers from igniting near your home.
  2. Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch.
  3. Screen in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  4. Remove flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds.
  5. Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  6. Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  7. Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire
  8. Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair the shingles that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
  9. Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
  10. Enclose eaves and screen soffit vents using 1/8 mesh metal screening to prevent ember entry.

The Firewise program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses. Learn more at:

If you See Fire or Smoke

If you see smoke, fire, or suspicious activities, note the location as best you can and report it to authorities. Call the National Fire Information Center or 911.

All of us can help protect public lands and our communities from devestating wildfire. Learn more about fire prevention and fire safety at home and in the forest:

For more information on what you can do visit

Research tells us that the majority of homes ignite during a wildfire as a result of embers or small flames. There are steps that homeowners can take to reduce the risk, with the most important efforts occurring on and immediately around the home. Firewise Homeowner Checklist (.pdf)

Learn how to be Firewise by visiting The Firewise USA® program which is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.  

No Campfire Restrictions

If you Fly We Can't! Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) on National Forest System lands must follow FAA guidance.