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Woodside Fire News

News from Woodside Fire Protection District

Important Wildland Fire Safety Message: Create Your Defensible Space Zone!

Fire Department personnel will soon be out in the neighborhoods reminding homeowners of the requirement for property owners to create defensible space around their homes.  

The Defensible Space area is the area where you’ve modified the landscaping to give your home the best chance to survive during a wildfire – greatly improving the odds for firefighters who are defending your neighborhood.  “Defensible Space” area should be a minimum of 100 feet of clearance around your home (or up to your property line).  If your home is on a slope or subject to high winds, extend the distance of this zone to the area that is recommended for your property. 

You can reduce your fire risk by completing the following:

  • Remove – dead and dying grass, shrubs and trees

  • Reduce – the density of vegetation (fuel) and ladder fuels, those fuels extending from the ground to the tree canopies.

  • Replace – hazardous vegetation with fire resistive, irrigated landscape vegetation including lawn, or other low growing groundcovers and flowering plants.


It’s the “little things” that will endanger your home.  Just a small ember landing on a little pile of flammable material may ignite and quickly spread to your home.  Your Fire Department suggests spending a morning searching out and getting rid of those flammable little things outside and your home will be much safer. 

Following are a few of the items you should take a look at:

  • Keep your rain gutters and roof clean of all flammable material.

  • Get rid of dry grass, brush and other flammable materials around your home – and don’t forget leaves, pine needles, and bark walkways.  Replace with well maintained (watered) landscape vegetation, green lawn and landscape rocks.

  • Clear all flammable materials from your deck.  This includes brooms and stacked wood.  Also, enclose or board up the area under your deck to keep it from becoming a fuel bed for hot embers.

  • Limb-up trees 10 feet from the ground (1/3 the height for smaller trees)

  • Move wood piles and garbage cans away from your home.  Keep wood piles away from the home a distance two times the height of the pile – more if space allows.

  • Use fine mesh metal screen (1/4” or less) to cover eaves, roof and foundation vents to prevent windblown embers from entering.

  • Inspect and clean your chimney every year.  Trim away branches within 10 feet of the opening of the chimney.  Install a spark arrester with ½” or smaller screen.

  • Maintain fire engine access to your home by clearing vegetation 10 from the sides of roads and driveways and 14' vertically.

Visit our Defensible Space page for more information.

Woodside  -  Portola Valley  -  Emerald Hills  -  Ladera  -  Los Trancos  -  Skyline  -  Viste Verde

Contact Us

808 Portola Rd #C
Portola Valley, CA  USA
Tel: (650) 851-1594
Fax: (650) 851-3960
For Emergencies, Dial 9-1-1

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