How to Prepare for Your Defensible Space Inspection

Keep your home safe and ready for inspection at any time

Defensible space is intended to discourage the start and spread of fire on your property, and Butte County is required to conduct defensible space inspections.

Yes, defensible space inspections are required by law—but don’t get nervous. They’re not “gotcha” inspections; they’re designed to help home and property owners better understand the defensible space concept and be sure they’re doing everything they can to protect themselves.

Defensible Space Inspection

How will I know when inspections are happening?

There are several ways to find out when inspections will be happening in your area: the Be Ready, Butte! defensible space page, our Facebook page, our Instagram page, and by signing up for email notices. Scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up for our newsletter.

The goal is to always have your defensible space ready for wildfire—after all, you have to get ready to be ready! So, here’s what you need to know about how to prepare for your defensible space inspection—whether or not you have one scheduled yet.

What your inspector needs from you

First, the inspector needs to be able to access your property. This means: unlocking any gates, securing any animals, and making sure the inspector has access to the entire perimeter of your property.

What your inspector will inspect

Once they have access to your property, here’s what your inspector will be looking for:

  • 5 feet of completely non-flammable space around your entire home (also known as Zone 0)
  • All required space and firebreaks needed for your property size 
  • The first 5 feet of any fencing touching your home should be non-flammable
  • Proper horizontal and vertical space between plantings and trees 
  • No weeds and annual grasses taller than 4 inches 
  • Roofs and gutters clear of any leaves and debris 
  • No tree branches any closer than 10 feet from your home
  • Proper storage of firewood and gas tanks 
  • Clear access to an evacuation route for you and any fire/rescue workers

You can get a complete checklist of what the inspector will be checking for here

And while we can’t promise you a poetic defensible space inspector, like Max DSI, we can guarantee someone who wants to help you stay safe.