Defensible Space Assistance Program

The Defensible Space Assistance Program (DSAP) is designed to assist homeowners that need to create defensible space, and are not able to do so because of physical, economic or other barriers. It is imperative that all homeowners maintain at least 100 feet of defensible space around their homes to aid in protecting themselves and their communities from the devastation of wildfire.

The population targeted for the DSAP program is those who are not able to do this work for themselves because of physical, economic, or other barriers. For example, low-income homeowners and physically disabled or elderly individuals who are unable to pay a contractor.

Prior to receiving service through DSAP, you must participate in our Home Assessment Program. Service is provided based on 12 geographic subregions twice per year, so please plan accordingly. The property owner must be the individual to apply for the home assessment. Each application will be carefully considered, an application for the Home Assessment Program does not guarantee you service through DSAP.

DSAP Services Provided:
  • Our program is designed to assist you in getting your property in compliance, as we can only complete one day of service per household, we do not guarantee we will complete 100 feet of defensible space, depending on how much work your property may need, terrain, and other factors.
  • One-day defensible space work per property including brush and tree trimming/thinning, raking of dead leaves/pine needles, and chipping of removed vegetation.
  • Chipped vegetation will be left onsite.
  • Work completed will be according to CAL FIRE and local fire agency ordinances.
  • Performed by professional contractors, who are bonded and insured.
  • You must be the legal owner of the property to be serviced.
  • You must first participate in the Home Assessment Program and have a visit completed by one of our trained staff members.
  • You must be unable to complete this work due to economic barriers:
  • One-person household:  Income <$57,900 (annually).
  • Two-person household: Income <$66,180 (annually).
    • Applicants who are both disabled and/or elderly and experiencing financial barriers are prioritized.
    • Applicants who live in high or very high fire severity zones are prioritized.
    • Applicants who have recently received a notice to abate from a fire protection district are prioritized.
  • This program is funding dependent and services are offered on a first-come, first-served basis as program funds are available. Currently, we are currently not accepting new applicants.
  • This program is offered by the Fire Safe Council San Diego County in partnership with the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County.  Funding is provided by San Diego Gas and Electric and CAL FIRE through the California Fire Safe Council’s Defensible Space Assistance Program.
  • In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
  • Completing an application is NOT a guarantee of service. 
  • Low income threshold is determined by the 2023 San Diego County Area Medium Income (AMI), to be eligible for our program, participants must meet the low income guideline or 60% of the County’s AMI. Proof of monthly/yearly income by income tax return, or other comparable means may need to be shared. Income that will be considered is total gross income (income prior to deductions, not gross adjusted income).