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Fire-Rescue Department


The following definitions are for terms used in brush management guides.

Brush/Chaparral - the predominant plant community in the canyons of southern California, comprised of shrubby plants that have adapted to dry summers and moist winters.

Combustible Waste Matter - includes magazines, books, trimmings from lawns, trees or flower gardens, pasteboard box, rags, paper,straw, sawdust, packing material, shavings, boxes, rubbish and refuse that will ignite through contact with flames of ordinary temperatures.

Discing - to cultivate with an implement (such as a harrow or plow) that turns and loosens the soil with a series of disks.

Environmentally Sensitive Area - any area in which plant or animal life or their habitats are either rare or especially valuable because of their special nature or role in an ecosystem, and which could be easily disturbed or degraded by human activities and development.

Erosion - gradual or immediate deterioration of a slopes' form or stability.

Fire Resistant Plants - a plant that is less flammable than another containing the same amount of fuel. This can be a consequence of the live-to-dead fuels ratio, the oil and resin content of the foliage, the percent of fuel moisture, or the age of the plants.

Fuel Breaks - areas between undisturbed vegetation and structures where selective pruning and thinning is used to reduce the volume of fuel.

Grubbing - removal of vegetation or destruction by removal of, or disturbance to, the root system by any means including chemical (Note: requires permits from City Development Permit Information, 619-446-5000).

Pruning - the removal of growth from a plant in order to reduce the fuel load. The material removed may be dead or dying wood, or simply a portion or number of branches of an individual plant.

Thinning - cutting and removal of vegetation from the land without disturbance to or destruction of the root system and/or soil surface.

Weeds - annual grasses that grow in the winter and turn brown in the summer with no watering.