Defensible Space – Gravel Grant

Defensible Space - Gravel Grant

Creating a noncombustible zone around homes to increase wildfire safety in our community

Why a grant for rocks?

When living in a Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) zone extra precautions should be considered to keep your home safer from wildfire. One of the most effective things you can do as a homeowner is keep the area closest to your home (Zone 0) free of noncombustible materials.

In addition to making your home and community safer from wildfire by creating defensible space, doing so can also help you qualify for designations such as Firewise Community and Wildfire Prepared Home. Both of these programs certify a level of preparedness that earn you a special designation that some insurance companies recognize and provide discounts for.

More and more insurance companies are requiring homeowners in the WUI to harden their homes against wildfire and create defensible space in order to obtain and/or keep homeowners insurance. By simply maintaining a fire-resistant zone directly around your home, it is likely you may be eligible for discounts through your insurer. When you create a 5ft non-combustable zone we recommend letting your insurer know so they can check for discounts.

Grantees will be awarded a voucher to purchase gravel for hardscaping Zone 0 – the 5ft closest to your home. Here is how it works:

Voucher amounts are either $200, $350, or $500.

The amount awarded to you will depend on how much of your home’s perimeter needs gravel for defensible space. This will be determined by a review committee, based off of the pictures you provide. If 75%-100% of your home perimeter is free of combustible materials (wood fencing, plants, decorative items, etc…) and is gravel ready then you may qualify for the maximum voucher amount. If you demonstrate you are making an effort to create a 5ft wide non-combustible zone around the entire perimeter of your home you may apply, even if you already have some pre-existing hardscaping (gravel, cement, pavers, etc.).

We will partner you with a local aggregate company.

Choose gravel you like and amount you need ($500 = 10 cubic yds road base gravel). The aggregate company will deliver* to your house for no extra fee.

You spread the gravel in Zone 0 around home perimeter where needed (see top photo on right)

*Delivery determined by aggregate co. & may not be possible for some addresses

Important things to note before submitting your application:

  • All documents submitted need to include applicant’s name(s) AND the address of the home receiving the gravel. Please include IDs for anyone listed on the submitted documents.


  • The photos you provide must be full profile shots showing ALL sides of the home, including Zone 0 (the first 5ft around the home) even if there is already hardscaping or mature landscaping in Zone 0. These photos will help us determine 2 things: 1) If you are making an effort to create a 5ft non-combustible zone and are gravel ready in at least 75% of your homes perimeter and 2) How much of your home perimeter is already hardscaped. 


  • Because the purpose of this grant is to help you create a non-combustible zone around your home, please be “gravel ready” before applying. This means that if you have landscaping in Zone 0, you are not “gravel ready”. The review committee will not approve applications that do not have at least 75% of their perimeter cleared of vegetation, including mature landscaping, in Zone 0. 

Applications will be approved by the committee according to need. If your photos show any of the following, your application may not be approved at this time:

  • any heavy and/or mature landscaping in Zone 0
  • only a portion of Zone 0
  • a preexisting non-combustable zone that is already hardscaped, around all sides of home
  • outbuildings such as sheds or barns (grant is only for primary residences/houses)
  • driveways or parking areas
  • yard further out from the home than 5ft 



Frequently Asked Questions about the Defensible Space – Gravel Grant

• What is Zone 0?

Cal Fire recommends maintaining 100ft of defensible space around your house to better protect it from wildfire. Within that 100ft there are 3 separate zones a homeowner should maintain. Zone 0 (also referred to as ‘the immediate zone’ or ‘ember resistant zone’) is the zone closest to your house and the most important to maintain. By keeping the 5 ft surrounding your home (and deck) free of all combustible materials (including bark and mulch) you can prevent embers from igniting material that could spread to the structure. It is recommended that you hardscape Zone 0 to maintain its fire resistance capabilities more easily.

• I didn’t live in the Camp Fire footprint before the fire, but I live here now. Am I eligible for this grant?

Yes! This grant is available to those living within the Camp Fire footprint, even if you did not live here pre-fire, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

Can I apply if I live in a manufactured home?

Yes, the grant is for any type of single-family home used as a primary residence, regardless of construction type, as long as you
meet the eligibility criteria.

Can I use this grant for a rental property?

No, currently this grant is not available to renters or rental owners.

Does my house have to be a new build?

No, it does not have to be a brand new home or rebuilt home. If you own the house and live in it (primary residence), it is in the Camp Fire footprint, you plan to live there long-term, and you meet the other criteria, then you can apply.

Can I apply if my home is under construction?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

What are the income requirements?

There is no income limit for this grant. The income question on the application is for informational purposes only and is not used in determining eligibility.

• Can I apply even if I already have Zone 0 cleared already?

That depends:

  • If you already have hardscaping (gravel, pavers, stone, cement, etc.) 0-5 ft around your entire home, then no – you do not qualify.
  • If you only have a portion of Zone 0 hardscaped, then you may apply. Specifically, if at least 25% of your home’s perimeter still needs hardscaping in Zone 0, you may qualify. You will still be asked to submit photos of all sides of your home.
  • If Zone 0 is already cleared of combustible material, but not hardscaped (just bare dirt), then you may apply.

• What if I have landscaping in Zone 0?

Cal Fire recommends keeping this zone clear of plants and anything combustable. Removing/relocating the plants and replacing them with hardscaping is the best way to keep your home safer from wildfire. Your photos must show a non-combustable zone, free of flammable objects such as plants, around at least 75% of your home. This demonstrates that you are “gravel ready” and intend to create and maintain Zone 0.

Do I have to put the gravel in Zone 0?

Yes. We will be conducting random audits to ensure that homeowners are not misusing this program. The gravel must be placed in Zone 0. If homeowners use the gravel in another way, they will be asked to repay the voucher amount. It is beneficial to use the gravel as intended – your home will be safer from wildfire, and you may qualify for discounts on your homeowner’s insurance.

• How long is the gravel voucher good for?

Vouchers will be good for 3 months from the date of issuance. The expiration date will be located on the voucher. Vouchers will not be redeemable after the expiration date. You may order your gravel any time before expiration, set up your preferred delivery date, and spread in Zone 0 at your convenience.

Can I apply for the grant more than once?

No. Each applicant/household/address is eligible for 1 voucher.

I cannot move and spread the gravel myself. Do you offer help for that?

If you are physically unable to spread your gravel (due to disability, age, etc.) and you do not have anyone who can help you, then we can put you on a waitlist for assistance. We will line you up with volunteers to come to your house and spread the gravel for you. The timeline for this is dependent on volunteer availability.

• After I apply, how long does the granting process take?

This program is extremely popular, and we are just a tiny non-profit with a small staff, so we ask for your patience please. Someone will be in touch with you to confirm we got your application and let you know if anything else is needed – this could take 1-2 weeks. Applications are processed in the order they are received and only complete applications will be brought before our grants committee. To expedite your application making it to committee review, please submit all required documents & photos and make sure your application is completely filled out & initialed and signed by both the applicant and co-applicant. The committee will review up to 50 applications per month, so please be advised it could be over a month before your application makes it to the grants committee depending on how many applications were received before yours.

• What happens after I submit my application?

Your application and supporting documentation will be reviewed by Rebuild Paradise Foundation staff for verification of eligibility. If criteria is met, your application will be reviewed by our volunteer grants committee who meet monthly. In the days following the review meeting, applicants will be contacted by Rebuild Paradise staff for grant issuance or disqualification notice. Upon approval by the grants committee, award letters, instructions, and vouchers will be mailed soon after.

• I received a voucher, now what?

First, read the instructions on the back of the voucher. Next, determine how much gravel you will need to cover Zone 0. Then, take the voucher to North State Aggregate (685 Pearson Rd, Paradise) and choose the gravel you want, turn in your voucher, and set up a delivery date. Make sure you do this step before the voucher’s expiration date. After gravel is delivered you can use it to cover Zone 0 at your convenience. Using weed barrier cloth or plastic under the gravel is not advised, as these materials are flammable.

• How do I calculate how much gravel I need?

You can use this aggregate calculator.  The length will be different for everyone, depending on the size of your house and whether some of Zone 0 is already hardscaped. The width should be 5 feet. The third number will be the desired thickness of the gravel in inches. We recommend 2-4 inches deep. After you have entered the 3 values, click “Calculate”. This should give you the estimated quantity of gravel you will need in both cubic yards and tons.

• Can I choose the gravel I want?

Yes. The full voucher amount ($500) is based roughly on the amount of road base gravel it takes to cover Zone 0 around a 2,000 sqft home, at 2in deep – approximately 10 cubic yards, including delivery fee. The voucher will cover $200-$500 worth of gravel – if you choose the cheapest gravel option you can get a larger quantity, if you choose the most expensive option, you will get less. Please make sure you are getting enough gravel to put in Zone 0 where needed. If your house requires less gravel to cover Zone 0 you may want to opt for a higher priced product. If you choose a higher priced gravel and go over your voucher value, you can pay the difference to the aggregate company. However, if you do not redeem the entire voucher amount, that money cannot be cashed out to you or redeemed later.

How can I apply for the Defensible Space – Gravel Grant?

There are a few options:

  1. Email us at and request an application. We’ll email you an application to print and fill out. Or just click the link above to print one out.
  2. You can also email us and request that we mail you an application, if you don’t have access to a printer.
  3. Pick up an application outside our office at 6067 Skyway Rd, Suite B, Paradise, CA 95969
  4. If you would like in-person assistance, or would like to drop your application off in-person, please email us at to make an appointment.

You can either email, mail, or drop your completed application off at our office (with an appointment).