YUBA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A program to prepare residents’ homes for wildfire season has been launched in Yuba County. 

The Yuba Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council, a community-based nonprofit group, has launched the “Defensible Space Cost Share Program” for people living in the foothill communities. 

Defensible space is meant to improve the chance of survival of a resident’s home during a fire. 

Residents eligible for the program include people living in the areas of Camptonville, Dobbins, Oregon House, Loma Rica, Browns Valley, Smartsville and communities served by the Foothill Fire Protection District. 

The program is similar to the Defensible Space Assistance Program launched last month in El Dorado County. That program was created to help seniors citizens, veterans and low-income residents prepare for wildfire season after the county was struck by Caldor Fire last year.

Grant funding for the Yuba County program is now open to submissions on a first-come and first-served basis. 

The program will reimburse Yuba County residents up to 50% (maximum $2,000) to create a defensible space around their homes with eligible home improvements such as pruning trees, removing ladder fuel vegetation and maintaining grass. 

To get the reimbursement, the mitigation work must be completed by Nov. 30, 2022, according to the YWPFSC. 

According to the YWPFSC, here are the services included in the defensible space program:

  • Removing all dry and flammable vegetation within five feet of home structures
  • Removing branches, weeds, dead grass and more within 30 feet of structures to the property line 
  • Eliminating vegetation limbs and small trees from around ground-level porches and decks
  • Making roads and driveways more accessible, and offering other preventive measures

Program activities are split into different areas: Zone 0 (immediate), Zone 1 (intermediate) and Zone 2 (extended). The YWPFSC suggests prioritizing activities such as work from the front door to the forest. 

Zone 0 (immediate) is making the area non-combustible within 0 to 5 feet from the structure. Zone 2 (intermediate) is removing branches, prune/limb-up trees, shrubs and other materials that are flammable or hazardous within 5 to 30 feet of the residence. Zone 3 (extended) is reducing fuels 30 to 100 feet after addressing areas closer to the home. 

According to the YWPFSC, here is where you can participate in the defensible space cost-share program: 

  • Schedule a free wildfire mitigation review
  • Based on review, perform your  defensible space activities outwards from the front door to forest
  • Prioritize Zones 0 and Zones 1 first (application may not be approved if Zone 2 is prioritized ahead of Zones 0 and Zones 1)
  • Submit an online reimbursement application with copies of receipts, invoices and before and after photos

Click here to learn more about the cost-share program.