Defensible Space Demonstration Project

The Hayward Fire Department often works with neighbors in Hayward Hills, Fairview Fire Protection District, and Five-Canyons to help identify locations for potential defensible space demonstration project sites showcasing the need for and effectiveness of defensible space. The goal of the demonstration project is to provide defensible space education to the communities in our high fire hazard areas.
Defensible space project before and after of Memorial Park

Past fuel reduction projects were in part funded by grants from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, though the California Fire Safe Council and Pacific Gas & Electric. The projects are intended to be used as an example of what defensible space and vegetation management should look like in our community. In December of 2020 we were awarded a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant for defensible space.

The FEMA grant funds allowed us to implement our own defensible space efforts in the Hayward Hills and during the Fall of 2022 we completed a large-scale defensible space project.  As part of the Hayward Fire Department’s education, assistance, and prevention program to improve wildfire safety in high hazard areas of Hayward, Fairview, and the Five Canyons communities ahead of wildfire season, we have developed a three-part video series to show case our most current defensible space efforts.

Our vegetation management program consists of educating the Hayward Hills, Fairview Fire Protection District, and Five-Canyons Communities on wildfire behavior and defensible space, as well as to demonstrate how to create defensible space on their own properties.

As part of the defensible space demonstration project, crews limbed up trees, chipped the down and dead fuels, cleared the area of tall grasses and flammable materials, leaving bushes and trees spaced according to fire safe guidelines. Prior to the work a biologist walked the project site to identify habitat areas of native grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees to be protected.

This is all part of our year-round vegetation management fire-safe program efforts that also include:

  • Goat Vegetation Abatement Program
  • No-Cost Residential Chipping Program
  • Residential Assistance Program (RAP)

If you have any questions regarding these programs, please contact the Fire Administration Office at or (510) 583-4930


Funding awarded to the City of Hayward allowed us to prepare for and implement a large-scale defensible space demonstration project.  The location the Hayward Fire Department has selected is an area along the Hayward Plunge Trail at the start of Memorial Park.  Please view our education workshops and three-part video series to learn more about the demonstration project site and how to participate in keeping your home fire safe.  Below is an area map of the selected demonstration project site and pictures of the project site.


 Area behind Hayward Plunge (Memorial Park)

The area between Hayward Plunge Trail and the homes towards Leona Dr. and Marie Dr. is abundant with dead vegetation and ladder fuels.  This area also sees a fair amount of foot traffic coming from hikers on the Hayward Plunge Trail.  There is evidence of past encampments, which are unfortunately a frequent source of fire starts. The streets are extremely narrow and would cause issues with evacuation and concurrent fire-fighting efforts.

Memorial Park, above the Hayward Plunge

Before, During, and After views of the project site: