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Hazardous Vegetation and Combustible Material Ordinance

Effective May 21, 2020, Placer County’s ordinance governs the abatement of hazardous vegetation and combustible material on both vacant and improved parcels. The ordinance provides fire officials with consistent guidelines to ensure adequate defensible space is maintained around structures and enforcement mechanisms are in place to encourage compliance.

California Public Resource Code 4291 and local fire codes require a property owner to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around all structures. This update to the county’s ordinance brings the state, local fire code, and county together by providing the same standards through one resource. In addition, the ordinance would give fire officials the authority to require fire hazard abatement outside of the traditional 100-foot distance in extraordinary high-hazard circumstances.

Requesting an Inspection

To request an inspection, contact the Fire District serving the property in question. For Placer County Fire concerns, please leave a voicemail at 530-886-3570.

Fire Department/District Boundary Map

Defensible Space

This is the single most effective strategy for protecting structures and assisting firefighting efforts. The County’s ordinance requires 100 feet of defensible space around improvements such as homes. Local fire agencies perform defensible space inspections to ensure residences meet the County standards.

Vegetation Removal/Abatement

Early removal and maintenance of non-compliant vegetation, brush, and other fire hazards within defensible space zones is your best defense.  From a low fire hazard perspective, Winter months with high humidity and rain are the best times to remove vegetation, brush, and down or dying trees.  Removal of tall drying vegetation and grasses are best accomplished during the Spring months before the vegetation becomes too dry.  While removal and maintenance of non-compliant vegetation, brush, and other fire hazards are essential, it is extremely critical removal and maintenance occur when fire risks are low.

It’s never safe to remove vegetation or maintain defensible space zones when it is HIGH FIRE SEASON  as determined by CalFire or your Local Fire Department.  Additionally, it may not be safe to remove vegetation or maintain your property even before 10 a.m., and never after, during High Fire Season or on windy, hot, or low humidity days.

Here are some helpful tools when considering removing vegetation or maintaining defensible space zones:

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Equipment Safety Guide


Key Resources