Roadway Clearance Projects

In order to improve evacuation routes, vegetation will be reduced along roads in priority hillside neighborhoods throughout the City. Project locations were selected based on input from San Rafael Fire Department (SRFD) engine operators and City road width data. The project has been funded by the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (Measure C). 

Work will focus on roadside vegetation that is 14 feet above the road surface and up to 10 feet from road edges. Clearing vegetation and tree limbs from these areas will improve emergency responder access, reduce the amount of heat that evacuating residents might be exposed to during a fire, improve visibility, and expand usable width of roadways on narrow hillside streets. 

The roadside vegetation management work being conducted under this project is work that property owners are legally required to maintain under the California Fire Code and the San Rafael Municipal Code (SRMC 4.12), but have not. The Fire Chief has authorized the removal of this vegetation to reduce hazardous conditions along evacuation routes.   

Neighborhoods where work will occur, with tentative schedules:



Lincoln/ San Rafael Hill  Completed, June 2021
Gerstle Park, West End, Fair Hills, Bret Harte & Picnic Valley (approximately 5.8 miles) Completed, November 2021
Bayside Acres Completed, January 2022
 Country Club, Dominican/Black Canyon, Montecito/Happy Valley Completed, February 2022
Rafael Meadows/Los Ranchitos, Santa Venetia & Mont Marin Completed, March 2022
Bret Harte & Picnic Valley Phase 2 & California Park Completed, March 2022
City-wide Phase 3  Anticipated Start, November 2022

If you have received a mailer indicating roadside clearance, work may occur in your area starting November 2022. If you have not received a mailer, work may not be performed near your property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rarely, this program will focus on trimming individual tree limbs, shrubs, and other vegetation that overhangs the roadway. No mature trees will be removed unless a safety hazard is identified by a certified arborist and/or fire officials and it is determined that removal is the only safe option.  

No, vegetation removal will occur in and from the public right-of-wayIf vegetation that threatens evacuation routes is observed outside of the right-of-way, clearly on private property, SRFD will ask permission before removing.  

Yes. SRFD is only cutting vegetation that is in violation of the San Rafael Municipal Code and California Fire Code. If you refuse to have the work completed, you are still required to remove and maintain it yourself, at your cost. Opt out forms will be sent to impacted residents prior to the start of project work.  

The work has been authorized by the Fire Chief under the San Rafael Municipal Code and California Fire Code. 

Yes. If crews observe dead trees, downed limbs, or dead vegetation within reach of the roadway, they will remove the debris. 

SRFD will update this page to provide scheduled dates by neighborhood as work is planned. After completing our pilot project, we will be able to provide more detailed timeline. 

This work will improve evacuation safety and emergency responder access during a wildfire by reducing the amount of flammable vegetation along and above roadways. 

This work is the first step towards evaluating areas and installing parking boxes. Our hope is that vegetation removal along roadways will increase safe parking options while still allowing for access and emergency egress. 

If you have any questions about the City’s roadway clearance program please contact our Vegetation Management Specialist, Calvin Schrader at 415-485-3457 or 

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