A defensible space – a two-zone buffer between your property and the surrounding land – is a necessary precaution during wild fire season. It can slow or even stop the spread of wildfire and help minimize destruction to your home.

The following tips will help you create and maintain a defensible space year-round.

AAA Insurance Agents can help prepare your home for wildfire season

Defensible space Zone One

extends 30 feet out from buildings, structures and deckstrim tree limbs in zone one as part of creating a defensible space


  • Clean & clear your yard, roof and gutters of leaves, pine needles and other materials regularly.
  • Keep trees trimmed so they maintain a 10ft distance from roofs, decks and other trees.
  • Remove all dead trees, limbs and vegetation.
  • Remove flammable plants near windows.
  • Keep combustibles, such as firewood piles and patio furniture, away from structures.
  • Use fire-resistant plants like rockrose and aloe around your home.
  • Store gasoline and propane tanks in approved containers only, away from buildings.
  • Soak ashes and charcoal briquettes in water before disposing of them.
  • Mark your address clearly on your home and at all roadway entrances to make it easier for emergency responders to find your home.
  • Keep tools, such as ladders, rakes, buckets and hoses, in good condition for fire crews.

Zone Two

extends 100 feet out from buildings, structures and decks

defensible space zone two tree limbs and hedge


  • Cut grass in this area to a maximum height of four inches.
  • Ensure you have adequate horizontal and vertical spacing between shrubs and trees.
  • Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones and small branches.
  • Check with your local fire department for any additional defensible space or weed abatement ordinances.

Read more about wildfire preparedness and learn about other ways get ready for wildfire season.

For more information about defensible spaces and other home insurance questions, talk to your AAA Insurance Professional.

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