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Fuel Modification


A fuel modification zone is a strip of land where combustible vegetation has been removed and/or modified and partially or totally replaced with more adequately spaced, drought-tolerant, fire-resistant plants in order to provide a reasonable level of protection to structures from wildland and vegetation fires. Development occurring within canyons, foothills, mountains, non-irrigated former farming areas, and other lands containing combustible vegetation requires modification of natural vegetation at the urban interface hence fuel modification.

Fuel modification programs vary in complexity and are dependent upon the type, quantity, and spacing of vegetation, as well as topography, degree/type of exposure, local weather conditions, and the construction, design, and placement of structures. A typical fuel modification consists of a level 20-foot setback zone (Zone A) from structures, a minimum 50-foot irrigated zone (Zone B), with an additional 100-foot minimum of vegetation thinning zones (Zones C and D). The minimum width of a fuel modification area is 170 feet and in some cases the width increases due to type of terrain and/or type and mass of vegetation.

NOTE: Fuel modification can include areas within a tract, based on the specific criteria.

Artistic staff will meet with representative of your local Fire Authority to ensure an overall understanding of the local fuel modification program scope and requirements and work to insure that you meet their requirements.

We will make sure that your fuel modification zones meet the following criteria.  Zone markers are in place; irrigation is functioning; maintenance functions are appropriate to remove fuel load in the fuel modification zones. 

We will review your fuel modification and report to you on the following. Undesirable plant material that must be removed; changes to the plant palette to meet local Fire Authority guidelines in fuel modification zones; clearances in fuel modification zones meet local Fire Authority guidelines; plant/fuel masses meet local Fire Authority guidelines in fuel modification zones.