Firewise in Minnesota

Defensible Space

Creating a defensible space around your house can enable your home to survive a wildfire. This defensible space is an area of reduced fuels between your home and the untouched wildland.

The photos below show the difference between being unsafe and being Firewise. Can you spot the changes?

Before and After Firewise


Create defensible space zones

Step 1

  • Assess your property by asking yourself these questions:
    • Do you border wildland?
    • Is there a substantial amount of tall vegetation crowed in around your home?
    • Do tree limbs extend over your home?
    • Do you have a woodpile in close proximity to your home?
    • Do you have any fuel tanks nearby?
    • Have you used native vegetation in your landscaping?
    • Does your property's driveway provide access to your home for firefighters?

Helpful tool: Fire hazard measurement for your rural or forest home

 

Step 2

  • Divide your property into three defensible zones:

Click on the zones titles for what to do.

Highslide JS Intensive Zone Extensive Zone General Management Zone

Step 3

  • Maintain your defensible spaces.

Click on the numbers for what to do.

Defensible space with text Reduce density surrounding forest 2 Keep grass short and watered 3 Stack firewood away from home. 4 Prune branches up 6 feet 5 Clean roof and gutters

More Information on Creating a survivable space.

Intensive Zone is the area of maximum modification and treatment. It consists of a 30 foot radius around all structures in which a majority of the flammable vegetation is reduced.

Extensive Zone is an area of fuel reduction. This zone is 70 to 100 feet from the extend to 200 feet or more from the structure.

General Management Zone is an area of traditional forest management and is of no particular size. It extends from the edge of your defensible space to your property boundaries.

Reduce density of surrounding forest.

Keep grass short and watered.

Stack firewood away from home.

Prune branches up 6 feet.

Clean roof and gutters.