Understanding Defensible Space: Zone 2

Reduce the fuel and stop fire in its tracks

A quick review:
Zone Zero is the first 5 feet outside your home. Zone 1 starts at the outer edge of Zone Zero and goes out 30 feet. And now we’re onto Zone 2!

So, where is Zone 2 of defensible space located?
Zone 2 picks up at the 30-foot mark and continues out to 100 feet or the edge of your property—whichever is closer. The idea in Zone 2 is to protect larger swaths of property not necessarily landscaped, but likely to contain debris and other flammable material.

How to Clear Zone 2

Yard Waste and Dead Vegetation

  • If you’ve raked yard waste to outer sections of your property, clean it up and get rid of it
  • Be sure dead or dying trees along with any other combustible materials don’t extend into Zone 2 from the outer edge of your property

Firewood Storage

  • Zone 2 is the best place for storing firewood
  • Get it as far out into Zone 2 as possible
  • Stack it on bare soil, with a minimum clearance of 10 feet in all directions

Travel Ways

  • Remember Zone 2 includes your escape route and the access point for firefighters
  • Clear a minimum 10-foot buffer on both sides of entrance roads and driveways so emergency vehicles can get through
  • Keep flammable vegetation to 4 inches or less
  • Trim overhanging tree branches to a height of at least 14 feet to give fire and rescue trucks clearance
  • Remove all dead vegetation within 10 feet of the roadside
  • Create proper tree/shrub spacing according to Continuous Tree Canopy guidelines

Undeveloped Properties
If you live on or own property in unincorporated Butte County, the following information also applies:

Property you live on

  • Maintain 100 feet of defensible space between your lot and any structure on a neighbor’s lot
  • A fire break may be required 30 feet wide around the entirety of your property when an accumulation of vegetation creates a significant fire hazard

Vacant lots
1.25 acres or more:

  • Maintain 100 feet of defensible space between your lot and any structure on a neighbor’s lot
  • Must have a fire break 30 feet wide around your entire property

Lots less than 1.25 acres:

  • Must maintain defensible space within the entire property

Learn more about Zone 2 from Max DSI!