ClearancesClearing dead or highly-flammable vegetation from around your home can help protect it from fire.

Most importantly, remove all dry grass, brush, and dead leaves within 100 feet of your home. Slopes, depending on the degree of slope, should be cleared even further. This "defensible space" may stop a fire or provide an area from which firefighters can work. Any landscaping within this area should be fire-resistive, such as ice plant, periwinkle, or African daisy. Space trees and shrubs at least 10 feet apart.

Trim the lower 6 feet of branches growing from any trees that are more than 18 feet tall. Aerial canopies should be cleared 20 to 100 feet away from any structures to prevent overhead travel of fire. Fuel breaks, if needed, should be 100 to 300 feet wide.

Slash piles should be eliminated prior to fire season. At no time should they exceed 5 feet in height, 15 feet in length, or 8 feet in width. They should be at least 30 feet apart. Stack firewood and scrap woodpiles at least 30 feet from a structure and eliminate all flammable vegetation within 10 feet. Keep the area within 10 feet of a LPG tank clear of combustible plants and materials.

Clear pine needles, leaves, and other debris from the roof and gutters. Remove all tree branches within 10 feet of the chimney. Also, remove any dead branches hanging over your roof. Clear all combustible vegetation out from under balconies and above-ground decks.