What is defensible space?
Creating defensible space refers to managing the vegetation within 100-feet of a structure. It requires:
  • Cutting and trimming of highly flammable chaparral
  • Removal of dead or dying trees and shrubs
It is important to have a landscape design that considers the types of plants used and their arrangement that achieves the objectives stated above as outlined in Section 6 of the City of Poway’s landscape guidelines titled Vegetative Fuel Management. Please note that these landscape guidelines apply only to new developments, however the concepts and ideas contained within this document can assist homeowners and designers reduce their wildfire risk. Defensible space does not require clearing, grubbing, grading, or the exposure of bare soil.

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1. Who can I call to get more information on defensible space?
2. What is defensible space?
3. When is the Wildfire Defensible Space Program in effect?
4. What is the purpose of this program?
5. Why should the city do this?
6. What does the Wildfire Defensible Space Program include?
7. What vegetation would be included in this program?
8. What about trees? Will they be required to be trimmed?
9. What constitutes a structure?
10. Why is there a 100-foot defensible space distance?
11. What if a 100-foot space around my home overlaps onto my neighbor’s property?
12. What areas of the city will be included in this program?
13. How is this program going to be implemented?
14. Who will conduct the assessments?
15. If I have not been contacted by the city, may I request a home assessment?
16. Will a permit be required to do the work?
17. What will it cost the average homeowner to comply with this program?
18. What if someone refuses a home assessment or inspection of his/her property?
19. What if someone refuses to reduce the flammable vegetation on his/her property?
20. What about wood chips and organic compost?
21. Can defensible space and maintenance be accomplished with minimal impact to wildlife?
22. Is there an appeal process?
23. What about fences, decks, and patio covers?
24. Will San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) be required to reduce the vegetation under overhead utility lines?