Home Evaluation Tip
Leaf or needle litter on the ground is vulnerable to ignition from embers and should be raked and disposed of in green waste cans. More than 30′ from structures, a thin layer (3″ or less) of leaf litter may be acceptable to prevent erosion and hold soil moisture.
Why is leaf litter a fire hazard?
60-90% of homes that are destroyed in wildfire events ignite because of hot embers blowing ahead of the fire. These embers land on dead leaves and spread fire to the house.
Clearing your property, roof, and gutters of leaf litter and other debris can prevent ignition. It’s one of the most effective things you can do to prevent your home from burning. Leaves tend to collect more frequently near the base of homes, trees, or shrubs.
Leaf litter and other debris are most dangerous within 5 feet of any structure (Zone 0). Regularly clean this area! Within 30 feet of any structure, leaf litter should be raked and disposed of in green waste cans.
What do I do about it?
- Rake and dispose of leaves or needles within 30 feet of any structure.
- Outside of 30 feet of a structure, make sure to rake and dispose of litter often enough to keep it a thin layer.
- Zone Zero: Ground Zero When Protecting Your Home from Wildfire
- Ecologically Sound Practices for Defensible Space