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Debris management

Prevent property destruction through debris management and disposal

Reducing flammable debris around your home prevents property destruction from fires. Practice extra caution in working with debris when fire danger is high.

Minimizing debris

  • Clear all vegetation, including leaves or needles, that are within 30 feet of your home and other structures. Use rakes, weed eaters, lawnmowers, and/or chainsaws. 

  • Thin tree stands and brush to eliminate continuous vegetation.

  • Make sure all machinery has proper spark arrestors. 

  • Fuel equipment in areas void of vegetation.

Disposing debris 


Utilize wood chippers to eliminate tree branches and other vegetative debris. Use remaining chips to mulch gardens.


Haul vegetative debris to designated dump sites in your area.

Community work days

Organize a community cleanup day. Pool resources such as wood chippers and chainsaws to help those in your neighborhood without the necessary equipment to clean up around their homes.

Burning debris

Contact local agencies about burn regulations, and burn only when fire danger is low. Practice extreme caution when burning debris:

  • Cover debris piles with a sheet of plastic. Remove plastic during or after a rain storm and burn the pile when the surrounding vegetation is wet. This will reduce the chance of fire spreading to surrounding vegetation.

  • Make sure piles are clear of vegetation at least ten feet around.

  • Avoid building debris piles under overhanging tree limbs or close to homes and other structures.

  • Have a water source and shovel located near the pile in case fire spreads to surrounding vegetation.

  • Never leave a debris pile unattended while it’s still burning.

  • Keep piles small. Suggested size is 5 feet x 5 feet. If you have more debris to burn, you can always add to the burn pile later as it burns down.

  • Make sure the pile is completely extinguished before you leave it. Drowned with water. Stir the ashes with a rake or shovel. Feel for heat with the back of your hand a few inches from the ashes. If the pile is still hot, continue to stir and drown with water and repeat the process until you’re sure the fire is completely out.

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