Defensible Space

The wildland urban interface – that area where the homes and communities intermingle with open land – is the place where wildland fires do the most damage to people and property. There are practical and specific steps you can take to protect your home from wildfires.

Defensible Space is the area around your home where the vegetation has been modified to reduce the fire threat.

The size of a home’s defensible space varies, depending upon property size, location and topography. Sometimes, a defensible space is simply a homeowner’s properly maintained backyard. Yet another property owner might need to provide over 200 feet of defensible space around their property.

The purpose of defensible space is two-fold. A properly designed defensible space can provide our firefighters with a safe place from which to defend your home from an approaching wildland fire. At the same time, homes with adequate defensible space are more likely to survive a wildland fire, even without firefighter assistance.

The Central Lyon County Fire District would like to encourage you to create a defensible space around your home.

You can do this by implementing the three “R’s” into your landscaping design:

Removal, Reduction and Replacement

Remove dead or flammable vegetation.

Reduce vegetation by pruning or mowing.

Providing space between plants and trees removes the continuous fuel bed that might otherwise exist throughout your yard.

The more continuous and dense the vegetation in your yard, the greater the wildfire threat is to your home. Replace flammable vegetation with less hazardous choices. Shorter plants are better than taller plants, and non-woody plants are better than evergreens or junipers.

To calculate an effective defensible space for your home, visit Click on “before the fire” and then go to the “defensible space” section. The site is designed to give you practical and informative details on many aspects of how to protect your home from wildland fire.

Defensible space is also important for the safety of our firefighters, should they respond to a wildland fire in your area. Make sure that your address is clearly posted and readily visible from the street and that the street signs are posted and unobstructed. Clear vegetation along both sides of your driveway; and, if your driveway is longer than 150 feet, a turnaround suitable and large enough for fire equipment is required.

If you and your neighbors would like help organizing, planning, applying for grant money and implementing a fire safe neighborhood plan, the Nevada Fire Safe Council can help. The Nevada Fire Safe Council is a non-profit membership-based organization whose mission is to assist local groups who are willing to take the necessary action to improve the survivability of their neighborhoods and communities. For further information, please visit their web site.

Contact our District Office directly by calling (775) 246-6209 or by email at If it is an emergency, please dial 911.