Keep your home safe during a wildfire

Last Updated: 10/27/2014

Creating and maintaining defensible space, and replacing wood or shingle roofs are essential for increasing your home's chance of surviving a wildfire. 

Homes with wood or shingle roofs are at high risk of being destroyed during a wildfire. 

Defensible space is the buffer that homeowners create on their property between a structure and the plants, brush and trees or other items surrounding the structure that could catch fire.  This space is needed to slow the spread of wildfire and improves the safety of firefighters defending your home. 

Here are some important actions that homeowners can take to improve the safety of their homes:

  • Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds (vegetation).
  • Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters.
  • Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
  • Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney.
  • Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows.
  • Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks.
  • Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.
Flying embers can destroy homes up to a mile ahead of a wildfire.  Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your home.  Here are some important actions that can save your home in the event of a wildfire. 

  • Build your roof or re-roof with materials such as composition, metal or tile. 
  • Vents on homes create openings for flying embers.  Cover all vent openings with 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch metal mesh.  Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh because they can melt and burn.
  • Protect vents in eaves or cornices with baffles to block embers.
  • Screen or enclose rain gutters to prevent accumulation of plant debris.  Regularly remove leaves and needles from uncovered gutters.
  • Use ignition-resistant roofing materials such as composition, metal or tile for patio covers.
  • Consider using ignition-resistant or non-combustible fence materials to protect your home during a wildfire.

For more information on how to protect your home please visit or the Roseville Fire Department at