With an uptick in recent brush fires across the State and Los Angeles County region, Peninsula residents are reminded to be on heightened alert and to be prepared for wildfire.
- Get prepared for wildfire before it strikes by following Ready, Set, Go! Download the Ready! Set! Go! Wildfire Action Plan (Fire.lacounty.gov/rsg/) for tips on how to protect your family and safeguard your home in case of a wildfire.
- Be Ready: Create and maintain defensible space and harden your home against flying embers.
- Get Set: Prepare your family and home ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate. Ensure you have a plan of what to take and where to go.
- Be Ready to GO! When wildfire strikes, go early for your safety. Take the evacuation steps necessary to give your family and home the best chance of surviving a wildfire.
- If you see something, say something. Report any sign of smoke or fire immediately to your local fire department by dialing 9-1-1. If you dial 9-1-1 from your cellphone, be sure to know your location.
- Sign up for RPV Emergency Alerts with Alert SouthBay by texting “alertsb” to 888-777
BEING READY—WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS
Being Ready for wildfire starts with maintaining an adequate defensible space and by hardening your home by using fire resistant building materials. Defensible space is the buffer you create by removing dead plants, grass and weeds. This buffer helps to keep the fire away from your home. Hardening your home means using construction materials that can help your home withstand flying embers finding weak spots in the construction, which can result in your house catching fire. It takes the combination of both Defensible space and the hardening of your home to really give your house the best chance of surviving a wildfire.
MAINTAIN DEFENSIBLE SPACE
Defensible space is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it. This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it helps protect your home from catching fire—either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. Defensible space is also important for the protection of the firefighters defending your home.
Defensible Space Zones
Two zones make up the required 100 feet of defensible space.
Zone 1: Extends 30 feet* from buildings, structures, decks, etc.
- Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds (vegetation).
- Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters.
- Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney.
- Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
- Relocate wood piles to Zone 2.
- Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows.
- Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks.
- Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.
Zone 2: Extends 100 feet out from buildings, structures, decks, etc.
- Cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
- Create horizontal space between shrubs and trees. (See diagram)
- Create vertical space between grass, shrubs and trees. (See diagram)
- Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches. However, they may be permitted to a depth of 3 inches.
HARDENING YOUR HOME
Prepare for wildfire and harden your home now. There are three ways your home can be exposed to wildfire: direct flames from a wildfire or burning neighboring home; radiant heat from nearby burning plants or structures; and flying embers. Flying embers from a wildfire can destroy homes up to a mile away and are responsible for the destruction of most homes during a wildfire.
Taking the necessary measures to harden (prepare) your home can help increase its likelihood of survival when wildfire strikes.
Here are ways you can harden your home and make it more fire resistant.
Before wildfire strikes, it is important that you get Set. Prepare yourself and your home for the possibility of having to evacuate. Getting set requires three main preparation actions that should be completed and familiar to all members of your household long in advance of a wildfire.
3 Steps to Getting Set:
- Create a Wildfire Action Plan that includes evacuation planning for your home, family and pets.
- Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for each person in your household.
- Fill-out a Family Communication Plan that includes important evacuation and contact information.
GO! EVACUATION GUIDE
Give your household the best chance of surviving a wildfire by being ready to go and evacuating early. Being ready to go also means knowing when to evacuate and what to do if you become trapped.
Remember: Before evacuation is necessary, follow these steps before it’s time to GO!
- Complete the following pre-evacuation preparation steps (only if time allows) to increase your home’s defense.
- Make sure you monitor wildfires in your area and know your community’s emergency response plan, evacuation orders and evacuation centers.
- When immediate evacuation is necessary, follow these steps as soon as possible to get ready to GO!Fire nears a home
When immediate evacuation is necessary, follow these steps as soon as possible to get ready to GO!
- Review your Evacuation Plan Checklist.
- Ensure your Emergency Supply Kit/Evacuation Bag is in your vehicle.
- Cover-up to protect against heat and flying embers. Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes/boots, cap, dry bandanna for face cover, goggles or glasses. 100% cotton is preferable.
- Locate your pets and take them with you.