Emergencies: Dial 9-1-1
Information: (650) 851-1594

Defensible Space

The Importance of Defensible Space

Defensible Space Saves Homes

Our hillsides, while beautiful, are an ideal environment for a devastating wildland fire. With the onset of summer months comes the drying and curing of our lands.  As temperatures peak, humidity drops and the summer winds blow, the potential for wildland fires increase.  Despite the efforts of the fire services, many homes are lost each year due to wildland and wildland urban interface fires.  It is imperative that you prepare now to protect your home from such occurrences.

Defensible Space and Wildland Fire Resources:

Fire Safe San Mateo County

San Mateo County's Fire Safe Council, providing information and resources for homeowners, residents, businesses, throught a public private partnership with the mission of reducing the risk of wildfires.

Ready for Wildfire

An excellent website created by CalFire. The website includes online guides and checklists to help you prepare your property, emergency supplies and family in the event of a wildland fire. 

Schedule a Defensible Space Inspection. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Include your name,  property address and phone number. 

Hazard Complaint Form.pdf

Woodside Fire Protection District provides neighborhoods with a convenient way to report potentially hazardous conditions.

The Importance of Roadway Clearance

We operate specialized fire apparatus that helps us navigate the narrow streets and hills of our community.  Even with our state-of-the-art fire engines, we depend on roadways clear of obstructions and overgrown vegetation to access your neighborhood safely and quickly during emergencies.  Cooperation and involvement from homeowners in each hillside neighborhood is critical to prevent obstructions, like illegally parked cars and overgrown vegetation, that impede our access and your safe escape in the event of a wildfire.  Your survival during a fast spreading wildfire may depend on vegetation clearance work finished months earlier.

How Houses Catch Fire

Wildfires spread by a combination of a moving fire front and airborne burning and glowing embers. Building loss during wildfires occurs as a result of some part of the building igniting from one or more of the three basic wildfire exposures, which include 1) embers (also called firebrands), 2) radiant heat, and 3) direct flame contact.  Recent research has shown that a majorit of homes destroyed by wildfire ignite from tiny embers, often carried by winds well in advance of the main fire.

 Ready, Set, Go

  • Ready – Be ready, be Firewise.  Take personal responsibility and prepare long before the threat of a wildland fire so your home is ready in case of a fire. Create defensible space by clearing brush away from your home. Use fire-resistant landscaping and harden your home with fire-safe construction measures. Assemble emergency supplies and belongings in a safe place. Plan escape routes and make sure all those residing within the home know the plan of action.
  • Set – Situational awareness.  Pack your emergency items. Stay aware of the latest news and information on the fire from local media, your local fire department and public safety. 
  • Go – Act early!  Follow your personal wildland fire action plan. Doing so will not only support your safety, 
  • but will allow firefighters to best maneuver resources to combat the fire. 


Create a landscape that will keep fire away from your house. 


Identify and remove vegetation hazards on your property. 


How fire resistant building materials will fortify your home against an encroaching wildfire. 


Develop a strategy to protect your neighborhood from the next wildfire.


Firewise Communities

Firewise Community Recognition

Scientific research has shown the effectiveness and benefits of implementing wildfire mitigation concepts across individual property boundaries and throughout communities.

The Firewise Communities/USARecognition Program is a process that empowers neighbors to work together in reducing their wildfire risk. Join the growing network of more than 1,028 recognized Firewise communities taking action and ownership in preparing and protecting their homes against the threat of wildfire.   

Using a five-step process, communities develop an action plan that guides their residential risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging their neighbors to become active participants in building a safer place to live. Neighborhoods throughout the United States are embracing the benefits of becoming a recognized Firewise Community – and you can too!

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

Our Mission; Vision; Values

It is the mission of the Woodside Fire Protection District to protect life, property and the environment through prevention, education, preparedness, and emergency response. Learn more...

Emergency Alert System

Visit www.smcalert.info register to receive email or SMS text alerts for emergencies and road closures in specific San Mateo County cities and neighborhoods, including Woodside Fire Protection District.