Prepare your yard for fire season

You can reduce fire risk to your home and neighborhood by managing vegetation on your property. Prune plants and clear debris every year before fire season.

Need to know

  • Prepare your property in early summer
  • Review it again in September

Before you start

It’s important to start preparing your yard in early summer. If you need advice, contact the Fire Department.

  • If you received a letter from your home insurance provider, call us at (510) 420-3030.
  • If you received a complaint about your vegetation or weeds, follow these steps to maintain your property. After you have cleaned up your vegetation, contact us to request a vegetation inspection.
Download a yard preparation checklist


1. Create space between plants, structures, and objects

Make sure there is space between plants, structures, and objects on your property. This makes it harder for a fire to spread.

  • Trim trees so that the lowest branches are at least 6 feet from the ground, or 3 times the height of any shrubs beneath the tree.
  • Trim trees so that branches are 10 feet apart from other trees.
  • Remove branches within 10 feet of your chimney.
  • Remove branches that hang over your roof.
  • Remove or prune plants and shrubs near windows.
  • Move patio furniture and wood piles away from plants.

2. Clear debris and flammable materials

Make sure your property is free from debris and items that are flammable.

  • Clear leaves, pine needles, and other debris from roofs, gutters, and the ground.
  • Remove all dead plants, grass, and weeds around your property.
  • Remove plant debris and other flammable materials (such as propane containers and paint) from under decks.

3. Keep plants well maintained

Keep all plants in your yard watered and well-maintained, whether they are native or non-native.

  • Trim any dead or dying material from plants.
  • Keep plants watered - especially any plants located within five feet of your home.
  • If you have Eucalyptus trees, remove shedding bark and leaves.

What’s next

Review your property every September to make sure it's prepared for fire season.

If you need some advice or recommendations for your vegetation, contact the Fire Department and we will send someone to review your property.

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