Living with climate change: Defend your space

A defensible space flyer from Cal Fire.

Governments and businesses can still take bold action to limit global warming, but average temperatures are already rising. As climate change worsens, extreme weather will be more frequent and intense. This blog looks at what you can do to prepare.

Defensible space can make a property more resistant to fire, especially important for residents of El Dorado, Folsom and other Sacramento-area communities at high risk for wildfire.

Cal Fire recommendations include removing dead plants, pruning and creating space between flammable plants and moving flammable objects such as firewood away from the home. These steps are one line of defense against the spread of wildfire, along with strong planning and building codes.

Defensible space, however, does not guarantee a property will not burn. Learn more from the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Also, the Cal Fire recommendations appear to be written with homeowners in mind. Renters, on the other hand, may not be able to make changes without a landlord’s permission. Laurie Schoeman, who oversees the resiliency and disaster recovery program of affordable housing nonprofit Enterprise, says tenants should organize themselves and work with property owners to ensure a property has defensible space and other safety precautions in place.

“Residents are the eyes and ears for the building and the community,” she says.

Enterprise offers a “Ready to Respond” kit for property owners and renters on its website. Renters should also purchase renters insurance.

Questions about emergency preparation? Let us know in the comments to this blog item or by emailing or and we’ll try to cover it in a future post.

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