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Defensible Space EvaluationsFire Department

The City of Santa Barbara Fire Department offers voluntary inspections of your property to ensure that your home is protected. During a major wildland fire the majority of homes lost are not engulfed by the fire front. They are lost when fire embers find a weakness in your home and start a small fire that can lead to total loss.

side of a homeSanta Barbara is known for its extreme fire weather and has a long history of extreme loss during the Sycamore, Painted Cave and Tea and, most recently, the Jesusita fires. In a wind-driven fire, there is no guarantee that your home will survive, but we can strive to make each and every home as safe as possible.

Each and every one of the homeowners that has asked for an inspection has walked away after the inspection with a safer home and more knowledge than before. We again are offering this valuable service to the members of the Wildland Fire Suppression Assessment District.

You can schedule a defensible space inspection by contacting the City of Santa Barbara Fire Department at 965-5254 or by filling out our online request form.

Effect of the Drought

It is generally accepted that there is a connection between drought and wildfire, a risk that increases with multiple dry years. The California Department of Water Resources observed that California’s most devastating wildland fire episodes occurred either during a drought or in the year following a multi-year drought. Low fuel moisture creates conditions that are favorable to fire spread, and resulting outbreaks can be among the major economic impacts of drought conditions. Approximately 75% of wildland fire causes are associated with the activities of people, from deliberate sets to household ignition sources and to driving cars. That makes the urban wildland interface particularly prone to fire initiation and spread.

Defensible Space Requirements

The City's "Defensible Space Clearance Requirements" mandate the clearance of flammable vegetation from and structure and public or private street that is on or borders your property.The requirements for defensible space vary based on your wildland fire zone.

There are two high fire hazard zones within the WFSAD;

      - Extreme Foothill Zone - 150 feet of defensible space is required.
      - Foothill Zone - 100 feet of defensible space is required

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2016