As more homes are built in the wildland urban interface (WUI), climate change and changes in fuel loads make communities throughout California more vulnerable to fire. In order to combat this risk, Yolo County Fire Safe Council coordinators and members have been trained in how to conduct property assessments for defensible space. These assessments help educate homeowners about the dangers posed by wildfire and how they can make their homes more defensible against wildfire. 

The importance of defensible space

Defensible space is your home’s frontline defense in surviving a wildfire. Not only does good defensible space reduce the risk of embers catching your home on fire, it also allows firefighters more time to defend your home from wildfire. Unmanaged vegetation surrounding a home or structure increases the risk of wildfire spread and doesn’t allow space for firefighting operations. Defensible space isn’t just about reducing or getting rid of vegetation and trees in the first 100 feet of the home. Good defensible space considers wind blown embers and any flammable materials next to, on, or up against the home. 

What is the wildland-urban interface (WUI)?

The wildland urban interface (WUI) is the area where human development meets undeveloped wildland and vegetative fuels that can be both fire dependent and fire prone. Wildfires are entering the WUI more often than ever before resulting in an overwhelmed fire response, homes lost, and communities destroyed. Taking appropriate action like implementing defensible space can decrease a wildfire’s destruction around a community. 

Defensible Space Assessments

Defensible Space Ambassadors will arrive at your home ready to do a walk around the first 100 feet of your home. They will assess and discuss defensible space and home hardening principles for both inside and outside the home. Yolo County’s community Fire Safe Councils have been trained on Defensible Space Assessments. If you live in the Capay Valley or West Winters region, contact your local Fire Safe Council to schedule a home assessment today.

If you live in the high fire areas of Western Yolo County outside of West Winters and Capay Valley and wish to receive a Defensible Space Assessment, contact Tanya Meyer, Yolo County RCD Senior Program Manager, at

More Yolo County FSC Programs

Neighborhood Chipper Pilot Program

The Neighborhood Chipper Pilot Program is a hazardous fuels reduction service that helps landowners manage vegetation after they create defensible space around their homes.

Reflective Address Sign Program

Yolo County Fire Safe Council is offering free reflective signs for your home. These reflective signs are visible in smoky conditions and at night, allowing emergency officials to find your home in case of an evacuation before or during a fire.