Defensible Zone 101

 Wildfires are a common problem for many people. In fact, 4.5 million U.S. homes were identified at high or extreme risk of wildfire. Colorado is the third highest state at risk of wildfire, with an estimated 373,000 properties at risk in 2021. Wildfires include grass fires, brush fires, and forest fires. The impact of these fires can be minimized or mitigated by creating a defensible space and taking other actions to reduce the intensity of the fire. Let’s learn more about defensible spaces so you can keep your property safe.

What is a Defensible Space?

Defensible space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surrounds it. This space is created to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and protect your home from direct flame contact or heat. In addition, a defensible space provides firefighters a safe area to work in while protecting your home. The zones are broken into numbers ranging from Zone 0 to 2.


Zone 0

Zone 0 extends 5 feet from buildings and is often referred to as the “ember resistant zone,” and it requires the most protective wildfire reduction so materials like gravel, pavers, concrete and other non-combustible substance are the best substances for this zone. It is also recommended to remove dead or dying weeds, grass, plants, shrubs, trees, or branches from this zone.


Zone 1

Zone 1 extends 30 feet from the building and is referred to as the “green zone”. In this zone, it is recommended to remove all dead plants and vegetation and, trim trees to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet away from other trees.


Zone 2

Zone 2 extends 30 feet to 100 feet from buildings, and this is referred to as the “reduce fuel zone.” It is recommended to cut or mow the grass down, create a horizontal space between grass, shrubs, and trees, and remove fallen leaves, needles, or twigs.


Landscaping in Fire-Prone Areas

While a well-maintained yard is great, proper landscaping for a wildfire is different. When you plan your landscaping in a fire-prone area, you should consider plant characteristics, properties, and maintenance to resist the spread of a potential fire into your home.


Through proper planning and maintenance with Front Range Arborists, you can protect your home and family, while still creating a beautiful landscape. Our expert arborists are trained in fire mitigation and have fire mitigation services to remove fuel and debris around your house and decrease heat and exposure during the event of a wildfire. Call to receive an estimate today!