Vegetation Management

California communities have experienced devastating fire loss because of the severity of fires which occur in places where urban housing has intermixed with wild land areas. The City of El Cerrito contains wildland intermix areas; Property owners within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity (VHFHS) zone must take special precautions with their property, including vegetation management, to reduce the risk of fire.

The three main goals of the El Cerrito Fire Hazard Reduction Program are:

  1. Keep all fires small. Small fires generally are cooler than large fires and are more easily extinguished.
  2. Limit the speed with which any fire will grow. Fires need fuel to burn; if fuel is available, fires will continue to grow rapidly. Fuel must be limited or made unavailable to spreading fire.
  3. Make it more difficult for fires to ignite and spread. Small fires can ignite progressively larger fuels. Small fuels are like kindling and are easily ignited. Reducing kindling fuels, and separating kindling fuels from larger fuels reduces sources for ignition and the potential for fire spread.

Is your property in a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone?

Refer to the El Cerrito Hazard Map - Green line on map indicates Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones

Do you have a Defensible Space?

Download information about Defensible Space (PDF) from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection about the simple steps you should take to dramatically increase the chance of your home surviving a wildfire.

Understanding the Purpose of Vegetation Management Standards

Fires are a part of California urban living. By implementing vegetation management standards, El Cerrito residents can significantly reduce the potential that a small fire will grow into a catastrophic event involving one or more structures. Read more...

Guidelines for Fire Hazard Reduction

There are three basic methods employed to manage vegetation fuels: firebreaks, fuel breaks and ornamental landscaping. Many factors combine to create a fire hazard on any specific property. The Fire Department has developed guidelines conforming to State Law and national fire protection standards which address most situations found on private property within El Cerrito. Read more...