Brush Clearance

Santa Anita Fire

 The Sierra Madre Fire Department is committed to protecting the homes in Sierra Madre from brush fires; however, we need help from the homeowners to give us a "fighting chance" by providing a defensible space around their homes. By reducing the amount of combustible brush around your house, as well as your neighbor's house, you have taken the first step to preventing disaster.

Through the brush clearance program, the Sierra Madre Fire Department works with residents in the foothills to help provide that "fighting chance" that is desperately needed to prevent a disastrous fire.

According to the California Department of Forestry, as many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fires could have been saved if the homeowners had followed a few simple fire safe practices.
Brush Clearance requirements for homes in the high fire hazard area include:

  • The first 30 feet around any structure shall be free of native and hazardous vegetation.
  • The next 70 feet of ground cover shall be at a height of no greater than 18 inches (except trees).
  • Native shrubs within 100 feet of any structure shall be trimmed 2 feet above the ground and no closer than 18 feet to other vegetation or structures.
  • Maintain trees within 100 feet of any building or structure and within 10 feet from any roadway free of dead foliage and maintain branches and foliage 3 feet off the ground.
  • Remove any portion of a tree which extends within 10 feet of an outlet of a chimney.
  • Keep all shrubs and other growing vegetation adjacent to or overhanging any building free of dead limbs, branches or other combustible matter.
  • Maintain 5 feet of clearance between roof surfaces and portions of trees overhanging any structure.
  • Maintain roof surfaces of all structures free of leaves, needles, twigs and other combustible matter.
  • Maintain all weeds and other vegetation within 10 feet of a roadway at a height of no greater than 3 inches.
  • All cut vegetation must be legally disposed of.
  • Post street address numbers on the front of structures
  • Do not cut vegetation to bare soil! These actions may accelerate soil erosion and cause mudslides. Remember, "THIN, YOU WIN; STRIP YOU SLIP"

Providing this defensible space is YOUR LEGAL responsibility and the key to defending your home during a wildfire. Working together we can battle the wildfire problem, but you must start around your own home. The Fire Departments Brush Abatement Program begins annually on May 1st.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact the Sierra Madre Fire Department at 626-355-3611 or visit the California Fire Alliance.