Defensible Space Inspections

CA Assembly Bill 38 (AB-38) – Defensible Space Inspections


AB-38 Defensible Space Inspections and Compliance Reports for Real Estate Transactions in High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.

On and after July 1, 2021, when you sell a property that is located in a High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (FHSZ), you will need documentation of a compliant Defensible Space Inspection (DSI). Please note that the AB-38 provisions are for real estate transactions disclosure and documentation only.


To request an AB-38 DSI inspection, please follow the link below:

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To all Kern County Property Owners,

In accordance with Kern County Ordinance Codes within Chapter 8.46, all Kern County property owners whose properties are located within State Responsibility Area’s (SRA) are required to perform fire hazard reduction clearance on all property they own by June 1st of every year.

No extensions will be granted beyond this date. Vacant lots without a structure (120 sq ft or larger) within 100 feet of your property line do not require clearance currently.

Failure to meet these requirements by June 1 will result in a minimum $500 Administrative Citation. If a citation is issued the owner of the property will be given 15 calendar days from the mailing date of the citation to either dispute the citation or show proof the violation(s) was/were corrected. After the 15 calendar day period, the property owner may be subject to an additional $1000 fine for continued non-compliance. If you sell the property, failure to disclose this legal notice to the new owner may make you liable for hazard abatement citation fines assessed to the property.

The goal of the Kern County Fire Department’s Fire Hazard Reduction Program is to protect life and property by providing an effective public education and regulation program that reduces hazards resulting from improper and/or inadequate defensible spacing. This reduction of hazards increases firefighter and public safety, as well as improves our ability to protect your property in the event of a fire.

You are receiving this notice as a courtesy reminder being sent to all property owners within the County of Kern, regarding the upcoming clearance deadline and requirements for fire hazard reduction. This is NOT a citation and does not require any response. If you own or are responsible for more than one property you will only be receiving one of these reminders.

It is the responsibility of the property owner to notify the Assessor’s Office of any mailing address change:

Click Here for the Assessor’s Office


Find answers to your fire hazard reduction questions here.


Defensible Space Guidelines

Defensible space, coupled with home hardening, is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. Defensible space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it.

This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it helps protect your home from catching fire—either from embers, direct flame contact or radiant heat. Proper defensible space also provides firefighters a safe area to work in, to defend your home.

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