State law requires owners of improved parcels (ones that have a structure on them) maintain 100 feet of defensible space around any structure. Unfortunately, defensible space ended at the property line; the law doesn’t apply to unimproved parcels, ones without a structure. A structure with limited setback could face danger from a neighbor’s brush-choked, unimproved parcel. In response, Placer County developed a hazardous vegetation abatement ordinance. This local ordinance extends the state law’s 100-foot requirement beyond the property line and onto adjacent, unimproved parcels.
The ordinance applies when an “extra hazardous” fire condition exists. When the owner of improved property is at risk from fire fuels on an adjacent, unimproved property, and it is not possible for an improved parcel owner to obtain the required 100 feet of defensible space, the county’s ordinance kicks in. The Hazardous Vegetation Abatement (HVA) ordinance does not apply when an improved parcel is adjacent to another improved parcel. In this situation, parcel owners are encouraged to work with their neighbors to obtain necessary defensible space.
To determine if you qualify or to request an inspection, contact the Fire District of the property in question. For Placer County Fire concerns, please leave a voicemail at 530-886-3570.
This is the single most effective strategy for protecting structures and assisting firefighting efforts. State law requires 100 feet of defensible space. Local fire agencies perform defensible space inspections to ensure residences meet the
state required standards.