Evacuation route clearance has been focused primarily on hillside neighborhoods with terraced or narrow roads. During an emergency, these roads need to be open and clear of vegetation along the road edge to help facilitate safe evacuation and egress for emergency response.
FAQ Topic: Fire & Paramedic
Fire road vegetation clearance helps keep fire roads throughout San Rafael open and passable for emergency response vehicles in the event of a wildfire. Fuel reduction along these roads consists of creating shaded and unshaded fuel breaks of the road edges, up to 50 feet in some areas. Many of the fire roads in San … Continued
Goat grazing and mowing remove light and flashy fuels in grassland or lightly wooded areas. These unshaded and shaded fuel breaks help slow the spread of wildfire and will be seen primarily in the defensible space zone that extends 100’-150’ from homes or infrastructure into open space areas. Goats arrive in San Rafael and Marinwood … Continued
A shaded fuel break consists of removing or modifying the vegetation in the understory of a wooded or forested area while retaining a large portion of the canopy. These projects will focus on removing light flashy fuels like grass, shrubs, invasive species like broom, and lower limbs of trees to reduce ladder fuels and create … Continued
Yes, San Rafael code requires all property owners to maintain defensible space. Some other Marin fire agencies have also adopted fire code language that may require neighboring properties to provide some vegetation clearance to protect their neighbor’s home. State law does not necessarily require this. San Rafael and FIRESafe MARIN encourage neighbors to work together … Continued
Most homeowners need a landscape or tree contractor to clear grass, weeds, and brush from around their home. See the contractor’s page at FireSafe Marin – www.firesafemarin.org/contractors for links to local contractors who’ve received basic training.
We don’t own goats. San Rafael, the County of Marin, FIRESafe MARIN, and other local agencies contract with private goat herders to reduce vegetation hazards on large parcels. Goats are usually only cost effective for larger properties of 5-10 or more acres due to transportation cost and logistics. In most cases, for small properties of … Continued
See https://www.firesafemarin.org/contractors for a list of contractors who’ve completed basic training in wildfire preparedness. Any licensed tree company or arborist should do fine for tree removals. We don’t typically recommend specific contractors, and have had good experiences with nearly every tree service you’ll find in the “yellow pages” or Google. Ensure that they are a … Continued
If it helps ease your nerves, you should know that the mere presence of eucalyptus trees does not necessarily indicate an “extreme” fire hazard. Single specimens of most tree varieties, including many fire hazardous species, can usually be maintained in a way that minimizes the hazard. Remember that trees don’t magically burst into flames, even … Continued
Adequate spacing between vegetation and between combustible materials is crucial to reduce the spread of wildfires. There are two types of spacing to be aware of. 1. VERTICAL SPACING: Remove all tree branches at least 5 feet from the ground Shrubs can act as a fire ladder or bridge that spreads fire to trees so, … Continued