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What is Sustainable Defensible Space?

The Defensible Space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it. This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it protects your home from catching fire – either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. Defensible space is also important for the protection of the firefighters defending your home.

At the same time, the landscaping choices in the defensible space provide the greatest opportunity for improved habitat conservation and its associated ecosystem benefits such as increased carbon storage, biodiversity, slope stability and water conservation.

Logo of the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains
Logo of CALFIRE
Logo of the California Climate Investments

Funding for Guidance for Sustainable Defensible Space Landscaping in the SMMNRA and Southern California was provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the California Climate Investments Program – a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

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