Protect Your Property

The key to protecting your property is defensible space. The good news is that there are actions you can take to create defensible space and reduce your risk.

Defensible space is an area around a structure where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared, or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire towards the structure. It also reduces the chance of a structure fire moving from the building to the surrounding forest. Defensible space provides room for firefighters to do their jobs. A house is more likely to withstand a wildfire if grasses, brush, trees, and other common forest fuels are managed to reduce a fire’s intensity.

Creating an effective defensible space involves developing a series of management zones in which different treatment techniques are used. Develop defensible space around each building on your property. Include detached garages, storage buildings, barns, and other structures in your plan.

The actual design and development of a home’s defensible space depends on several factors: size and shape of buildings, materials used in their construction, the slope of the ground on which the structures are built, surrounding topography, and sizes and types of vegetation on the property.

Take action now to protect your property.

Additional guidance on protecting property from wildfire is available from any local Virginia Department of Forestry representative or fire department.

Additional Resources

ImageTitleIDDescriptionContent TypeViewhf:tax:document-categoryhf:tax:Media
Fire Adaptive Landscaping for Native Habitats and Wildlife in the Southern Coastal Plain
Fire Adaptive Landscaping for Native Habitats and Wildlife in the Southern Coastal Plain

Book was prepared by the Georgia Forestry Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coastal Wildscapes, and Firewise Communities to provide every resident and business owner has the opportunity to enhance wildlife habitat and natural ecological systems by maintaining, or where necessary, restoring connectivity to the surrounding forests and other natural communities through landscaping and gardening activities. They can also address the very important issues of water conservation and loss of habitat from invasive species by using native plants and avoiding exotic plants when deciding what to plant. We invite all coastal plain individuals and communities to emphasize creative solutions to protect native habitats and wildlife while connecting with nature and achieving Firewise principals. This publication was created to give everyday people and everyday businesses guidelines for landscaping with these goals in mind.

Viewfire-and-emergency-response urban-and-community-forestrypublication
Firewise Communities for Virginia
Firewise Communities for VirginiaP00111

Brochure provides important steps to protecting your home and community from wildfire, including firewise landscaping, defensible space, fire-resistant roof and exterior construction, fire-resistant attachments, steps to becoming a firewise community, a disaster plan, defensible space, and emergency access. Printed copies available.

Firewise Landscaping Part 1: Overview
Firewise Landscaping Part 1: OverviewViewfire-and-emergency-responsevideo
Firewise Landscaping Part 2: Design and Installation
Firewise Landscaping Part 2: Design and InstallationViewfire-and-emergency-responsevideo
Firewise Landscaping Part 3: Maintenance
Firewise Landscaping Part 3: MaintenanceViewfire-and-emergency-responsevideo
Firewise Virginia Community Hazard Mitigation Grant Application
Firewise Virginia Community Hazard Mitigation Grant Application4.32Viewfinancial-assistance-fire-and-emergency-response fire-and-emergency-responseform
Home Wildfire Safety Checklist - Is Your Home Firewise?
Home Wildfire Safety Checklist – Is Your Home Firewise?FT0002

Forestry topic information sheet provides a checklist of items to answer about your home to assist in identifying characteristics of your home that may require changes to improve the wildfire safety of your home.

Is Your Home Safe from a Wildfire
Is Your Home Safe from a WildfireViewfire-and-emergency-responsepublication

Contact Us

For more information or questions, e-mail us or use our contact form.