Many residents in Irvine live in what is known as the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI). The WUI is the area where structures and other human developments meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland or areas with heavy vegetation.

Each year, many homes across the United States have been lost to WUI fires. Most fires are caused by lightning, but some are also caused by human activity in the WUI.

You can prevent this by performing what firefighters call "community fuel abatement" planning. By simply following the tips below, you can greatly reduce fire risk to your community and to the open areas of wildland beyond.

  • Create defensible space by thinning trees and brush within 30 feet around your residence.
  • Clear combustible material within 20 feet.
  • Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns
  • Remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground.
  • Mow grass regularly and rake leaves dead limbs and twigs.
  • Keep your roof and rain gutters free from debris such as dead limbs and leaves.
  • Remove vines from the walls of the home.
  • Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet.
  • Ask the power company to clear branches from power lines.
  • Store flammable materials, liquids, and solvents outside of your residence at least 30 feet away from structures and wooden fences.
  • Use fire resistant roofing materials.
  • Cover exterior vents and eaves with metal mesh screens (1/4 inch or smaller) to prevent debris from collecting and to help keep sparks out.
  • Plan an escape route and a meeting place for your family.

For more information about wildfires, please visit the Orange County Fire Authority or the American Red Cross.