Home Wildfire Assessments


The Home Wildfire Assessment Program is provided free of charge from the Agoura Hills Fire Safe Council, and our partners. Upon request, a volunteer Wildfire Assessor will visit your site and conduct a guided walk-through with the resident in order to provide real-time feedback and address any questions or concerns specific to the property. The assessment provides educational information related to Home Hardening and Defensible Space to the resident.
Experiments, models and post-fire studies have shown homes ignite due to the condition of the home and everything around it, up to 100’ from the foundation. This is called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ).

Home Ignition Zones:

Immediate Zone (Zone 0):

The home and the area 0-5 feet from the furthest attached exterior point of the home; defined as a non-combustible area. Science tells us this is the most important zone to address immediately, as it is the most vulnerable to embers. Start with the house itself; then move into the landscaping section of the Immediate Zone.

  • Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers.
  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
  • Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening.
  • Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers.
  • Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Move any flammable material, including firewood piles, mulch, and certain plants, leaves and needles, away from wall exteriors. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.

Intermediate Zone (Zone 1):

The area 5-30 feet from the farthest exterior point of the home. Landscaping/hardscaping – employing careful landscaping or creating breaks that can help influence and decrease fire behavior

  • Clear vegetation from under large stationary propane tanks.
  • Create fuel breaks with driveways, walkways/paths, patios, and decks.
  • Keep lawns and native grasses mowed to a height of four inches.
  • Remove ladder fuels (vegetation under trees) so a surface fire cannot reach the crowns. Prune trees up to six to 10 feet from the ground; for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height.
  • Space trees to have a minimum of 18 feet between crowns with the distance increasing with the percentage of slope.
  • Tree placement should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than ten feet from the edge of the structure.
  • Tree and shrubs in this zone should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape

Extended Zone (Zone 2):

The area 30-100 feet, out to 200 feet. Landscaping – the goal here is not to eliminate fire but to interrupt fire’s path and keep flames smaller and on the ground through the following:

  • Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris.
  • Remove dead plant and tree material.
  • Remove small conifers growing between mature trees.
  • Remove vegetation adjacent to storage sheds or other outbuildings within this area.
  • Trees 30 to 60 feet from the home should have at least 12 feet between canopy tops.
  • Trees 60 to 100 feet from the home should have at least six feet between the canopy tops.

CLICK HERE to view and download complete details of the Home Wildfire Assessment program.

If you have any questions prior to getting an assessment, please contact us by clicking HERE.

CLICK HERE to view a list of CAL FIRE approved materials

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