Defensible Space

A concept in wildfire management that refers to the creation of a buffer zone around structures, such as homes and other buildings, by removing or reducing flammable vegetation and other combustible materials. Defensible space is designed to slow or stop the spread of a wildfire, minimize the risk of structure ignition, and provide a safer area for firefighters to defend the property. Typically, defensible space is divided into several zones, with varying levels of vegetation management and fuel reduction. In legal disputes related to wildfires, such as the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire, issues may arise concerning the implementation and maintenance of defensible spaces, the responsibility of property owners and land managers in creating and sustaining these areas, and the potential impact of defensible spaces on the outcome of a wildfire event.