What is a defensible space inspection?

Defensible space inspections are official visits, conducted by Butte County Fire / CAL FIRE fire safety experts, intended to make sure your home and property are in compliance with wildfire prevention measures required by Butte County. These visits are required by law!

When do inspections happen?

Depending on the weather, inspections can happen nearly year-round. It’s good practice to ensure you’re ready by late winter, so you can be sure your property is in compliance on your first inspection.

You can be alerted of upcoming inspections in your area in the following ways:

Please note: an inspection is required when selling a home located in high or very high fire zones in Butte County, but there are also scheduled inspections to ensure compliance with county ordinances. 

Need to request an inspection at a different time? Request an inspection using this form

What will Defensible Space Inspectors look for?

Licensed CAL FIRE inspectors use a checklist of requirements to evaluate your property. They will review items such as the following:

  • Total defensible space and firebreaks relative to the size of your property 
  • No flammable material within five feet of your home 
  • The first five feet of fencing touching your home should be non-flammable material 
  • Sufficient horizontal and vertical space between plantings and trees 
  • Height of weeds and annual grasses 
  • Presence of dead leaves, debris, and pine needles on roofs and in gutters 
  • Distance of tree branches from your home 
  • Proper storage of firewood and gas tanks 
  • Evacuation route access

How can I prepare for my defensible space inspection?

  1. Read up on our county requirements and make sure your home and property meet them.
  2. Take a self-assessment quiz of your existing defensible space to see how you’re doing and what other steps you can take to be in compliance. 
  3. Leave gates open/unlocked when inspectors are expected in your area. This prevents an initial “fail” and helps minimize revisits.



If you’re unsure about anything, the Butte County Cooperative Fire Agencies are always there to help. 

Email: getready@bereadybutte.com

Call: (530) 538-7888

Past Inspections