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  Fire Department

Brush & Wildfire Protection

Wild FireMore than half of the state's 101 million acres is covered with flammable vegetation, making California the highest fire-risk area in the United States!

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 following guidelines:

  • 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

City Of Chula Vista



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