It seems like we battle wildfires here in California every single year. Our dry weather makes us vulnerable to these. Now that temperatures have begun to warm up, our chances of wildfires increase. To help protect your Ventura home as well as those of your neighbors, the City created a Ventura Fire Hazard Reduction Plan.
Ventura Fire Hazard Reduction Plan (FHRP)
Earlier this month, Ventura sent out letters to over 6500 homeowners outlining their Fire Hazard Reduction Plan. The City gives these homeowners until May 18th to clear up their property. The plan breaks down fire hazard reduction into two zones. Zone 1 focuses on the residence and the surrounding area up to 30 feet from it in all directions. Zone 2 extends from 30 feet out to 100 feet (or the property line, whichever falls closer).
Zone 1 FHRP
The City’s Fire Hazard Reduction Plan for Zone 1 calls for clearing out the chimney and roof of any flammable debris. Homeowners must also clear leaves, dead vegetation, and other debris around and under the residence (decks, patios, etc.). Limit ground cover and shrubs to groupings no larger than 10 feet in diameter and spaced at least five feet from other groupings. Keep woodpiles more than 30 feet from your residence.
Zone 2 FHRP
To continue to protect each resident’s property, the FHRP continues into Zone 2 (30 to 100 feet around the main residence). The grass needs to be no longer than 4″. Clear any limbs within five feet of the ground or at least one-third of its height for any trees, shrubs, or hedges more than six feet tall. Any piles of wood must maintain a 10-foot clearance from any other shrubbery, trees, or ground cover. In other words, clear a 10-foot perimeter around each woodpile down to the dirt. Ground cover and shrubs must also be spaced at least five feet from other groupings. Dispose of any dead or dying wood.
Remove and dispose of stumps. Keep fire hydrants clear of any vegetation or debris within three feet of it. Install a metal screen around chimneys and stovepipe openings that includes at 3/8″ to 1/2″ openings to prevent large debris from flying out. Finally, install numbers on your residence that can be easily seen from the street. This makes it easier for emergency vehicles to identify/locate homes.
As long as we all do our part, we stand a much better chance of making it through wildfire season relatively unscathed. For more information about the Ventura Fire Hazard Reduction Plan, please download a copy of the plan here.