Avila Beach weed abatement company answers the question, ‘What is defensible space and why is it important?’

weed abatement Avila Beach

Ant’s Tractor Mowing, providing weed abatement services for Avila Beach specializes in creating defensible space to protect property from wildfires. Defensible space is actually a series of fire safe zones that start at a structure, extending to a total distance up to a 100-feet, including fire safe spaces around shrubs and trees. The California Department of Forestry and Fire (Cal Fire) has defined three zones that make up the defensible space:

  • Zone 0, the ember resistant zone, extends 5-feet from each structure and includes decks and other buildings. The purpose is to create a space that is as resistant to embers igniting flammable material and starting a fire.
  • Zone 1, the “lean, clean and green zone,” extends 30-feet from buildings, decks and structures or to the end of the property line. Keeping this zone clear of dry grass and landscaping with appropriate low-growing plants help keep this zone a low risk for fire.
  • Zone 2, the reduced fuel zone, extends from 30-feet to 100-feet or to the property line from buildings and structures.

These zones create fire-safe and clear spaces around buildings, trees, shrubs, and more that can slow or stop the spread of a fire, give you and your family time to get to safety and give firefighters a safe and effective area to work to put out the fire. 

It’s not just about wildfires

Wildfires destroy thousands of acres and billions of dollars in property every year. California fire season usually runs from May through October, but in the last several years, wildfires are starting earlier and the season ends later in the year.

Wildfires travel quickly, burning dry, overgrown vegetation and everything in their path. Defensible space can slow the spread and give valuable time to get to safety for all kinds of fires, not just wildfires.

Any fire, an accidental kitchen fire, a grill fire, or even a chimney fire on a cold day has the potential to get out of control and threaten an entire neighborhood. Reducing the amount of flammable material that feeds fire is critical to everyone’s safety, including firefighters.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to uproot all of your landscaping,” says Anthony Elisarraras, owner of the Avila Beach weed abatement service. “It just means that, with some planning, you can create defensible space to help protect your property.”

Planning your defensible space

There are steps that can be taken in each zone that optimize fire-safety.

  • Weedeating is effective for small spaces, especially within Zone 0 and Zone 1 that are close to buildings or landscaped with trees and shrubbery.
  • Reducing flammable materials by landscaping with non-combustible hardscaping like gravel, slate, decomposed granite and rock.
  • Regularly remove dead leaves, dry grass, low hanging branches and other debris. Good times for clean up in Zones 0 and 1 are in early spring just before everything starts to grow and late spring or early summer as weeds start turning brown. Removing dead growth from shrubs and trees is appropriate any time. Fall is a good time to prune shrubs, trees and many landscape plants like rosemary, lavender and sages. Pruning to about half the size of the plant helps control growth and actually improves spring and summer blooming. Also prune away any dead growth in the fall.
  • Using non-combustible outdoor furnishings is also helpful.
  • Be sure hoses are fully operating, without cracks or holes, that they are long enough to reach the edge of your property and beyond if needed and that the spray heads are in good working order.
  • The best thing to do in the event of a fire is to get everyone to safety and call 911, but there are times, when grilling or barbecuing for example, when having a hose handy is important.
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand and know how to use them.

Creating a defensible space

Weedeating and mowing are two highly effective ways to help clear yards and land for defensible space. Ant’s Tractor Mowing has been providing complete weed abatement services to Avila Beach and the entire Central Coast since 2004 with:

  • Weedeating services that are effective for spaces that are too small for a tractor, where there is landscaping to preserve or where more detailed weed abatement is needed, such as along fence lines.
  • Mowing, accomplished with a tractor and a flail mower is a cost-effective and efficient method for removing and controlling weeds and shrubs on acreage, large lots, pastures, and other open spaces.

Through integrity, hard work and quality service year after year, we maintain an excellent work ethic, competitive pricing and serve to protect our customers, their property and homes.

We offer free estimates for your convenience. Call today!