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New Defensible Space Law

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

A new law in California seeks to reduce the spread of wildfires. It includes changes to the way people clear brush from around their homes. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

The legislation was authored by San Diego Senator Christine Kehoe.

She says the new law updates existing rules for clearing vegetation around homes in fire-prone areas.

Kehoe says the requirements now include making sure other materials, such as flammable plants, are cleared away.

Kehoe: You've got to think about the structural additions and fences that are attached to the house like fences and decks.

She during wildfires like last October, a 100 foot buffer may not be enough protection for homes because fire embers can travel miles from the fire line.

That's why clearing wood piles, propane tanks and other flammable items are so important.

Kehoe says preventing or reducing fire damage includes more than keeping the lawn sprinkled and large trees away from the house.

The law requires maintaining a defensible space no greater than 100 feet or the property boundary, whichever is closer, from all sides of a structure.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

 

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