Twenty years ago this month, the Old and Grand Prix wildfires joined forces and burned 161,175 acres from Rancho Cucamonga to Highland, took the lives of six people, and caused more than a billion dollars in damage. Fanned by hot, dry Santa Ana winds, the combined blaze destroyed more than a thousand homes in northeast San Bernardino and the Rim Communities and devastated Cedar Glen as it encircled Lake Arrowhead.

The Old and Grand Prix wildfires showed us that fire season in San Bernardino County extends through October and into November. Is your property prepared? Defensible space is a strong barrier between your home and the flames of wildfire. By clearing weeds and dry grass around your home, you give firefighters a much greater chance to defend your home in the event of a wildfire.

Use these wildfire preparedness tips to start creating defensible space around your home:

  • Clear up to 30 feet away from the home. Leave space between bushes and trees 30 to 100 feet from your home.
  • Store flammable liquids in approved safety cans away from occupied buildings.
  • Keep propane tanks clear of vegetation.
  • Keep all combustibles, such as firewood, lawn furniture, picnic tables, etc., away from structures.
  • Clean rain gutters regularly to avoid leaf and pine needle accumulation.
  • Clear vegetation and other flammable materials from beneath decks or other wooden structures.
  • Remove tree limbs and vegetation that overhang the roof.
  • Remove all branches lower than six feet.
  • Dispose of stove or fireplace ashes and charcoal briquettes after soaking them in a metal pail of water for 24 hours.
  • Keep your garden hose connected to the faucet.
  • Review your home escape plan with your family and have fire drill exercises.
  • Ensure your address is clearly visible from the street.

Get more wildfire safety tips at and watch this video.

Additional County Update News – October 19, 2023

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