Outages can happen in a flash. Be ready to stay safe & evacuate with tips from CAL FIRE:

Learn about defensible space, fire-resistant landscaping & hardening (preparing) your home's exterior.

Homes are exposed to wildfires in three ways: direct flames from a wildfire or burning neighboring home; radiant heat from objects burning nearby; and flying embers. Prepare your property with CAL FIRE tips on creating defensible space, fire-resistant landscaping & hardening (preparing) your home’s exterior.

Defensible Space

Essential in improving your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire, defensible space is a buffer you create between structures and the surrounding vegetation or wildland. This 100-foot-radius of defensible space, broken into Zone 1 & Zone 2, are currently required by law, with a third zone, Zone 0, set to become law in 2023.

Hardening Your Home

Flying embers are responsible for destroying most homes during a wildfire. Each tiny, floating flame can be blown a mile away, sparking a new fire. Preparing, or hardening, your home can help increase its likelihood of survival when wildfire strikes.


Making your home more fire resistant usually means retrofitting it with ignition-resistant or non-combustible materials for roofs, vents, eaves and even windows. This can be a financially daunting project. To get you safe and started, check out CAL-FIRE’s Low-Cost Retrofit List.


Fire-Resistant Landscaping

A fire-resistant landscape isn’t necessarily the same thing as a well-maintained yard. This type of landscape uses strategically placed fire-resistant plants and hardscapes (stone walls, gravel, pavers, concrete) that resist the spread of fire to your home. No plant is fireproof, but some are better than others. In general, choose high-moisture plants that grow close to the ground and have a low sap or resin content. Here are some recommendations:

Larger Vegetation

Hedging roses, bush honeysuckle, currant, cotoneaster, sumac & shrub apples; hardwood trees like maple, poplar & cherry are less flammable than pine, fir & other conifers. 

Shrubs & Groundcover

California fuchsia, California lilac, California red bud, coreopsis, French lavender, ornamental strawberry, red monkey flower, rockrose, ice plants, aloe vera, sage, society garlic & yellow ice plant.

Create an emergency supply kit, make a plan & prepare your family, pets & home for evacuation.

When wildfire threatens, give your family & pets the best chance of surviving by being ready to go and evacuating early. Prepare with steps from CAL FIRE’s READY, SET, GO! Evacuation Guide.

Before evacuation is necessary, create a Wildfire Action Plan for your family and know where you’re going to go and the best routes for leaving. Find out your community’s emergency response plan, evacuation protocol and evacuation centers. Monitor wildfires in your area online or with text alerts and prepare to evacuate with these steps.


Each person in your home needs an emergency supply kit that is easily accessible and light enough to carry. Putting these together now and having it ready will help you get out early and fast. As you make your kits, prepare to be away from home for an extended period of time.


When an evacuation is anticipated, follow these checklists (if time allows) to give your home the best chance of surviving a wildfire.

Inside Your Home

  • Have your emergency supply kit ready to go.
  • Shut windows & doors, leaving them unlocked.
  • Remove flammable window shades & curtains; close metal shutters.
  • Move furniture away from windows & doors.
  • Shut off air conditioners.
  • Turn off pilot lights.


Outside Your Home

  • Put your emergency supply kit in your vehicle.
  • Turn off propane tanks; shut off gas at the meter.
  • Fill water buckets & place them around your home.
  • Connect garden hoses to water spigots for use by firefighters.
  • Do not leave sprinklers or water running; this affects critical water pressure.
  • Gather flammable items (furniture, toys, door mats, etc.) & bring inside or place in your pool.
  • Move propane grills & appliances away from structures.
  • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters.
  • Place a ladder at the corner of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
  • Check on neighbors & make sure they’re preparing to leave.
  • Back your vehicle in & keep it unlocked with its windows rolled up.
  • Don’t wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened—get out.


Now it’s time to go. Leave as soon as evacuation is recommended by fire officials to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion. Don’t wait to be ordered by authorities to leave.


Have your emergency supply kit in your vehicle, locate your pets and take them with you. Protect yourself against flying embers and cover up with long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, heavy shoes, a face mask & glasses. 

In case of immediate evacuation, remember the six P’s: