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Fire Resistant Fence Alternatives

Fire Resistant Fence Alternatives

Within Ashland city limits, when it comes time to construct a new fence or replace an old one, Ashland's Wildfire Safety Ordinance states that you are required to acquire a fence permit from Ashland Community Development, and any fencing attached to a building or deck shall be made of noncombustible materials within five (5) feet of the connection to the structure. This begs the question, what fence material can you install in place of a wood fence attachment or gate that attaches to your home, shed, or other structures on your property? There are several non-combustible or fire resistant options available in stores, online, or by request of fencing contractors that can halt the spread of fire to your home. 

Non-wood fencing alternatives vary greatly in cost, and not all options may be allowable to install on your property. Particularly, if the structure you are attaching the fence to is constructed of wood siding or vinyl, you are required to install noncombustible fencing attached to the structure. If, however, the structure you are attaching the fence to is constructed of fire resistant or noncombustible siding like fiber cement, stucco, brick, or cement, fire resistant fence materials like fiber cement, plastic, or vinyl is acceptable*. View the table below to see what alternatives may work for your fence attachment replacement:

*view the bottom of this page for specifications about exemptions to Ashland's Wildfire Safety Ordinance that may help you contrain what fencing construction materials are allowable for your fence project
 
Description Relative Cost ($-$$$) Example
Corrugated Metal $ corrugated
Steel Privacy Fencing $$$ steel
Vinyl/Hard Plastic  $-$$ vinyl
Hogwire $ hogwire
Hardiboard
*requires consultation with Ashland Fire & Rescue staff for approval
$ hardiboard
Wood Grain Vinyl  $$-$$$ vinyl
Perforated Metal Sheeting* $-$$ perforated

If you are applying for a Fence Permit and seek an exemption to “noncombustible fencing materials within five feet of the connection to the structure” (18.4.4.060.B.8), the following conditions will be reviewed by the Fire Code Official in order to grant an exemption. Items 1 and 2 must be met before a site inspection will be considered:

1. The portion of the structure adjoining the proposed combustible fence material must be constructed with ignition-resistant building materials sufficient to reduce the spread of fire from the combustible fence materials to the structure. If this isn’t the case, the exemption can be denied.
         a. Noncombustible siding materials include masonry products, stucco, plaster, and fiber cement board.
 
2. A noncombustible area must be established within 5 feet of the proposed fence connection to the structure in accordance with General Fuel Modification Area Standards in AMC18.3.10.100.B.2.
 
3. The proximity of any flammable vegetation listed on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List will be considered. Depending on the height, width, and proximity to the proposed fence, this factor will be taken into account on an inspection only if the first two items are met.

4. The distance of the proposed fence to the structure’s eaves and eave construction
          a. The susceptibility of proximal eaves to fire exposure from the combustible fence materials, considering the construction materials and techniques used in eaves and venting and distance between the fence and adjacent eaves.

Contact the Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator at 541-552-2231 for questions.
 

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