Brush & Wildfire Protection
than half of the state's 101 million acres is covered with flammable
vegetation, making California the highest fire-risk area in the
Ninety-five percent of all wildfires are caused by people. As more
people move to and vacation in the state's fire prone urban wildland
interface areas (where housing tracts meet rolling foothills and
mountainous areas), the risk to life and property increases.
Unfortunately, many of the homeowners and vacationers in these
wildfire danger zones are unaware of the land's inherent fire threats.
Scientists estimate every square inch of hillside in southern California
has burned five hundred times in the last 11,000 years. This is
an average of one fire every 72 years. People of San Diego County
have witnessed more than their share of wildland fires in the last
20 years. The climate, topography and occasional extreme winds make
the San Diego County area particularly vulnerable to wildfires.
Fortunately, there are many things that the residents of Chula Vista
who live near high vegetation can do to protect their property.
Fire protection is everyone's responsibility. This information
is intended to provide recommendations so residents can make their
homes as safe as possible from the wildland fire threat.
Before the Fire, Do This!
Take a few minutes to read this information, then sit down with
family members to preplan fire emergency actions and fire prevention
activities. History has shown that wildland fires can happen so
suddenly and with such intensity that the available firefighting
forces are overwhelmed. Often there have not been enough firefighters
to protect every structure. The fate of each home and personal property
can rest upon the resident's fire prevention and prefire planning.
Brush, Weeds & Vegetation
On private property, within 60 feet of structures, re-landscape
with low fire resistive plants, such as ground covers that do not
transmit fire rapidly. You may retain "specimen native shrubs" if
they are trimmed and are maintained free of all dead wood, duff,
dry leaves, et cetera.
For hillside clearing and fire protection planting, use the
- Trees and shrubs should be trimmed away from buildings and chimneys.
- Remove dead leaves and pine needles from roofs and rain gutters.
- Keep property free of accumulated combustibles such as dried
vegetation, cuttings and wood piles.
- Roads and driveways should be well cleared of trees and brush
to permit access for fire equipment.
- Make sure the house address is clearly marked and visible with
a contrasting background.
For more information on fire resistant landscaping techniques and
requirements contact the City of Chula Vista's Landscape Division.
The Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas also has a firescape demonstration
garden that can be viewed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, by
visiting the gardens located at 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas,
CA 92024. There is a $5.00 adult admission fee.
No Burning of Trimmings & Cuttings
No open burning of yard waste, trimmings or cuttings is allowed
in the City of Chula Vista.
For a concern about fire prone brush near a home, please call the
Chula Vista Fire Department at (619) 691-5055. Someone will investigate
whether brush removal or other mitigation measures are necessary.
For more information on Wildland fire safety see: National
Wildland Fire Homepage