Preparing Property for Wildfire
You are responsible for keeping your property fire safe. Use these tools and resources to manage spaces around your home and increase your property’s wildfire resilience.
Follow these steps to make your property fire safe and resilient. By doing so, you can increase the likelihood your home survives a wildfire. Additionally, prepare yourself for the Fire Department’s inspection program, which is managed by the Wildland Urban Interface Division.
INCREASE YOUR HOME’S RESILIENCE TO WILDFIRE
The Fire Department urges homeowners create and maintain defensible space around their property, and to harden their homes.
Create defensible space
Increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire by creating defensible space. Defensible space is the buffer between a building on your property and anything combustible around it, including vegetation and combustible storage. This buffer reduces fire spread and provides firefighters an area to work in to defend your home during a fire.
To help you with this important work, download or visit these resources:
- Learn about Defensible Space Zones from Fire Safe Marin.
- Download a diagram that illustrates defensible space on a typical Berkeley-sized lot.
- Read recommendations from FireSafe Marin about fire-resistant designs, materials, and plants.
Harden your home
Hardening your home, together with creating a defensible space, further increases the chances that your home will survive a wildfire by making your home more fire resistant. Home hardening involves actions such as re-roofing with fire-safe materials, covering vents, and boxing in eaves. Learn more about Hardening Your Home from Cal Fire.
Take advantage of the fire fuel chipper or vegetation disposal program
Make use of City programs to dispose of your excess vegetation. All Berkeley residents can participate in the Fuel Fire Chipper Program, a free and convenient service to help dispose of excess vegetation from their properties. In addition, residents in some areas of the Berkeley hills that pay a special tax can participate in the Vegetation Debris Bin Program, a seasonal program for the disposal of large volumes of vegetative debris.
PREPARING FOR WILDFIRES PREPARES YOU FOR OUR INSPECTION PROGRAM
Berkeley performs defensible space and home hardening inspections on properties in the Berkeley Hills, designated as Fire Zones 2 and 3. You can prepare your property for inspection by taking concrete steps, such as assessing and disposing of vegetation on your property multiple times a year and removing combustible items. Learn more by reviewing:
- A map of Fire Zone boundaries. Click the “Adopted Fire Risk” tab to locate your property in a Fire Zone
- The Defensible Space & Home Hardening Self-Inspection checklist
Access your inspection report
To access your property’s Defensible Space/Home Hardening Report, refer to the instructions and code on your inspection door hanger. If you have questions about your report, contact:
Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Division
Phone: (510) 981-5620
Please provide the address.
PREPARE YOUR HOME AND COMMUNITY BY BECOMING FIREWISE
Protect your home from wildfires and get involved with your community through Firewise USA, a program from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). To get started, contact the Berkeley Fire Department’s Firewise Coordinator by calling (510) 981-5620 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
KNOW WHEN AND HOW TO GO
Protecting your home is one step to wildfire resilience. Understand fire weather and be ready for wildfire evacuation.