|STEP ONE: How big is an effective defensible space?
The size of the defensible space area is usually expressed as a distance extending outward from the sides of the house. This distance varies by the type of wildland vegetation growing near the house and the steepness of the terrain.
On the “Recommended Defensible Space Distance” chart presented below, find the vegetation type and percent slope (see “Homeowners Guide to Calculating Percent Slope”) which best describes the area where your house is located. Then find the recommended defensible space distance for your situation.
For example, if your property is surrounded by wildland grasses such as cheatgrass, and is located on flat land, your recommended defensible space distance would extend 30 feet from the sides of the house. If your house is on a 25% slope and the adjacent wildland vegetation is dense tall brush, your recommended defensible space distance would be 200 feet.
If the recommended distance goes beyond your property boundaries, contact the adjacent property owner and work cooperatively on creating a defensible space. The effectiveness of defensible space increases when multiple property owners work together. The local assessor’s office can provide assistance if the owners of adjacent properties are unknown. Do not work on someone else’s property without their permission.
Temporarily mark the recommended distance with flagging or strips of cloth tied to shrubs, trees, or stakes around your home. This will be your defensible space area.