Mariposa County has been identified as a "High Fire Threat Area" by CAL FIRE. The United States Forest Service has listed many of our communities in the Federal Register as "Communities at Risk," based on the threat of fire from federal lands. The 1961 Harlow Fire took place in our area. That fire still holds the record for the fastest-moving fire in California firefighting history.
The threat of a large damaging wildfire is high, as is the potential for loss of valuable natural resources, personal property and human life. Without clearing and thinning to reduce the fuel load, the risk of wildfire on your property continues to increase.
To protect your property, public law requires that you create a fire-safe buffer at least 100 to 200 feet around your home. The steeper and more vegetated the property, the larger the buffer must be. To comply with the law and help save your home from a catastrophic wildfire, create a defensible space around your home by following these guidelines:
Thin out thick vegetation to create a more parklike look.
Keep lawns mowed and trim shrubs.
Remove dry, resinous, or dead plants and flammable debris.
Remove lower tree limbs and limbs within 10 feet of chimneys, power lines, and outbuildings.
Use non-combustible surfaces for walkways, patios and driveways.
Use low-growing, non-woody plants for landscaping.
Clearing need not be to bare mineral soil for entire 100 feet. To learn how to properly create defensible space, read CAL FIRE's "Why 100 Feet?" brochure found at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and also look at Defensible Space Guidelines.