Wildfires are a significant threat to the residents, structures and coastal ecosystem of Laguna Beach.  The Laguna Beach Fire Department's mission, in partnership with the community, is to create a wildfire resistant landscape and buildings through proactive wildfire mitigation efforts.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFIRE) has identified areas of extreme wildfire risk throughout the state, and designated them as Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ).  Laguna Beach has 87% of the land area within the VHFHSZ.  While much of it is open space, approximately 65% of the City's buildable property is within the VHFHSZ.

Proposed Fuel Modification Schedule for 2023

The table below summarizes the proposed fuel modification schedule for 2023. Please note that the schedule is subject to change based on environmental conditions, and other unforeseen circumstances.

 FMZ Name  Treatment
 FMZ 1 Dartmoor Goat Graze  Apr/May N/A N/A
 FMZ 2  Skyline-Alta Laguna
(City Hall to Bermuda)
Goat Graze  Mar N/A N/A
 FMZ 2  Skyline-Alta Laguna
(Bermuda to Alta)
Goat Graze Jun/Jul  N/A N/A
 FMZ 3  Hidden Valley Goat Graze  Aug N/A N/A
 FMZ 4  Bluebird Canyon Goat Graze  Apr/May N/A N/A
 FMZ 5  Nestall - TOW Goat Graze  Aug N/A N/A
 FMZ 6  Fire Road Goat Graze  Jun/Jul N/A N/A
 FMZ 7  Ceanothus Goat Graze  May N/A N/A 
 FMZ 8 Three Arch Bay Goat Graze  Jun N/A N/A
 FMZ 9  Del Mar Goat Graze Jun  N/A N/A
FMZ 10  Barracuda - West Goat Graze Mar N/A N/A
FMZ 10  Barracuda - East Hand Crew Pending Coastal Approval
 FMZ 11  Driftwood Hand Crew Pending Coastal Approval
 FMZ 12  View Park Hand Crew  Jan Apr TBD
 FMZ 13 Oro Canyon Hand Crew Jan Apr TBD
 FMZ 14  Moorhead LBCWD Maintained N/A N/A N/A 
 FMZ 15 Nyes & Oro Hand Crew Jan Apr TBD
 FMZ 16  Hobo Canyon Proposed  N/A N/A  N/A 
 FMZ 17  Upper Bluebird Hand Crew Pending FEMA Approval 
 FMZ 18  South Bluebird Hand Crew Pending FEMA Approval 
 FMZ 19  Diamond Canyon Proposed N/A N/A N/A
 FMZ 20  Sunset Hand Crew Feb May TBD
 FMZ 21  South Laguna Hand Crew Feb May TBD
 FMZ 22  Park Ave. Hand Crew Dec '22 Apr TBD
 FMZ 23 Canyon Acres Hand Crew Jan Jun TBD
 FMZ 24 Laguna Canyon Hand Crew Jan Jun TBD
 FMZ 25 Irvine Cove HOA Maintained N/A N/A N/A
 FMZ 26 Emerald Bay HOA Maintained N/A N/A N/A
 FMZ 27 Corporation Yard  Hand Crew  Jan  Jun TBD

Laguna Beach - Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map

The focus of the Laguna Beach Fire Department's Vegetation Management is on publicly and privately owned parcels within the VHFHSZ.

Vegetation Management is the controlling of plant materials year-round for the prevention of fire spread by removing dead and dying fuels, thinning heavy brush, maintaining an ember resistant zone, and trimming or removing trees that could contribute to a fire's spread toward the structure.  The Laguna Beach Vegetation Management practices are implemented and enforced in four primary ways.  They consist of Weed Abatement, Fuel Modification for Development, Defensible Space, and Fuel Break construction and maintenance.

Weed Abatement

Weed Abatement is conducted annually in the spring for parcels in the developed portion of the City, and throughout the year for removal of dead vegetation and invasive species as specified in Ordinance #1510.

Fuel Modification for Development

Fuel Modification for Development is applicable to all new construction and major remodel projects in the FM Zone (as designated by City GIS), with specific guidance in the 2019 LBFD Landscape/Fuel Modification Standards and Maintenance Program.   All homes built under this Standard or previous versions are required to be maintained in the approved fuel modified state for perpetuity.

Defensible Space

Defensible Space is applicable to all properties in the VHFHSZ with structures constructed without conformance to any development required Fuel Modification Standard or Guideline.

Fuel Break Program

The Fuel Break Program protects a large portion of the inland side of the City that is adjacent to open space.  It also covers many interior canyon areas, and is currently in process of expansion to South Laguna, Park Avenue, and lower Bluebird Canyon.  The fuel breaks are maintained by goat grazing and hand crews.

Free Wildfire Consultation

The Fire Department offers a Free Wildfire Consultation service for all property owners within the City.  Please contact us to schedule the site visit.