Mountain residents take note: Almost every home here fails to abide by Cal Fire-recommended clearances of minimum spacing between our trees of 15 feet. Some think the black forest should be their backyard. You threaten my family’s safety by not following Cal Fire reccommendations.

Cal Fire tagged many homes with a defense document certifying whether your home was defensible. It had a checklist as to whether there was onsite water, people home, and if 100 feet of defensible space existed. It did not say 100 feet of defensible space or to the property line, which ever is less, as stated within state law.

In other words, if your neighbor’s property line is within 100 feet of your home — as so many properties are in Idyllwild passing inspections — and yet having no obligation to clean that section within 100 feet of your home, fire crews would not protect your home.

Could you sue your neighbor as a private nuisance (and maybe public nuisance) and Cal Fire over this unacceptable bind that many of us find ourselves in? Either way to do so would advance fire suppression/abatement standards of our homes.

Jeff Smith
Pine Cove


  1. After 10 years of college, and 35 years practicing law, I thought I could read anything. Unfortunately I have no idea what the author of “Defensible space still at issue” is trying to say. Maybe someone who knows the author’s intent can rewrite the article.