Ventura, Calif. — After two months of little to no rain, the Ventura Fire Department reminds everyone that the threat of wildfire remains high year-round. One of the best defenses to protect against wildfire is to clear flammable grass, trees, and shrubs away from structures and create what’s known as a “defensible space” around properties.
In mid-March, Fire Hazard Reduction Program, or FHRP, notices will be mailed to 6,500 parcels advising property owners to complete 100 feet of vegetation clearance from structures by May 18, 2022.
“Despite heavy rainfall in the final three months of 2021, our area remains critically dry due to long-term drought conditions. Defensible space is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect a house from wildfire,” said Fire Chief David Endaya. “Defensible space reduces vegetation density, aids firefighters’ ability to protect homes, and gives them a tactical advantage in stopping a fire to save lives and properties. It’s a win, win, win!”
The goal of FHRP is to protect life and property by removing flammable brush, reducing vegetation density, and creating adequate defensible spacing. Defensible space varies depending on the topography and type of vegetation surrounding structures.
“Maintaining defensible space is critical to slow or stop the spread of wildfire. It helps safeguard homes, businesses, and valuable property from catching fire, either from direct flame or radiant heat,” said Acting Fire Marshal Brett Reed.
In 2022, Ventura Fire’s goal is to inspect 6,500 properties in very high and high fire hazard areas starting in mid-May. This is a 900% increase from the 580 annual inspections previously performed. As a result of this increase, during its regular meeting on May 24, 2021, the Ventura City Council approved the City’s adopted fee schedule and authorized the Ventura Fire Department to begin billing for defensible space and other fire inspections.
Fire inspections for all affected properties are billable at $38.97 for the first required annual inspection, including associated fees, starting on May 18, 2022.
For additional information on the Fire Hazard Reduction Program and associated billing, visit www.CityofVentura.ca.gov/FHRP or call the Fire Prevention Division at (805) 658-4717.