2021 Brush Clearance Regulations from the Los Angeles Fire Department
Fire season in Southern California is no joke. As a commercial property owner or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your property complies with brush regulations outlined by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) each year. Continue reading to familiarize yourself with brush clearance regulations, and always keep in mind that Stay Green is here to help you with all of your commercial landscaping needs, including brush clearance.
Important 2021 Updates
Properties located in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ) are required to adhere to brush clearance regulations created and enforced by the LAFD. Amid the global pandemic, there are a few updates to brush clearance procedures that you should be aware of.
Below are some important 2021 updates for brush clearance inspections:
- Brush clearance season begins May 15th, 2021 and inspections will be conducted through June 30, 2021
- Due dates for brush clearance violations will be extended from 15 to 30 days from the date of the initial inspection
- LAFD brush clearance inspectors will practice social distancing during inspections
- In-person meetings with LAFD brush clearance inspectors are discontinued for now
Brush Clearance Regulations
Property owners in areas that are at a much higher risk for wildfires are responsible for adhering to brush regulations in order to reduce the risk of wildfires in Southern California. Under brush clearance requirements, brush, weeds, grass, trees, and vegetation within 200 feet of any structure or 10 feet of any combustible fence or roadway are regulated.
Below are the brush clearance regulations:
- Grass, weeds, and native brush must be no more than 3 inches in height
- The lower third of shrubs must be removed
- Dead material from shrubs, trees, and all vegetation must be removed
- Foliage from trees that exceed 18 feet in height should be trimmed back at least 6 feet from the ground
- Lower branches from trees less than 18 feet in height should be removed to 1/3rd of their height
- Foliage from trees must be at least 10 feet away from any chimney outlets
- Trees must be at least 5 feet away from roof surfaces
- Roofs must be cleared of leaves, branches, twigs, needles, and other combustible matter
- Fire hydrants must have a minimum 3-foot radius clearance
- Firewood must be at least 30 feet away from any structure
- Any vegetation or branches extending over roadways must be trimmed back to the curb line
- Cut vegetation may be used as mulch, but must not exceed 3 inches in depth
To ensure safety during brush clearance operations, you must adhere to the following rules:
- Brush clearance cannot be performed on red flag days
- An approved fire extinguisher must be within 10 feet of any brush clearance activity
- If metal cutting blades are being used to perform brush clearance, they must be non-ferrous/non-sparking
- A functioning and charged cell phone must be easily accessible during brush clearance operations
Failure to pass inspection will result in violations and fees. Failure to pass re-inspections will result in additional fees. Additionally, properties that fail re-inspections will be cleared by a city contractor, which will result in an administrative fee and a contractor fee.
Stay Green Is Here to Help
Adhering to brush clearance regulations all year long is a lot of work. Luckily, Stay Green is up for the task. As the most trusted commercial landscaping company in all of Southern California, you can count on us to ensure your property is safe during fire season. Since 1970, our team has proudly offered industry-leading brush clearance services. We are familiar with and know how to follow all guidelines for safe, effective brush clearance and safe removal and disposal of debris.
In addition to brush clearance, services we offer include:
- Complete tree care
- Drought defense
- Landscape design/build services
- Landscape maintenance
- Landscape pest control
- Plant health care
- Water management services
We cater to commercial properties of all sizes, including retail establishments, government municipalities, theme parks, sports arenas, homeowner’s associations, and more.
To avoid fines for brush clearance violations this fire season, reach out to Stay Green at (800) 741-9150.