FAQ Topic: Public Safety

Evacuation route clearance

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.

Fire road vegetation clearance

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

Goats

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

Shaded Fuel Break

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

Our Property Line Is 10’ From Our Home and There Are Several Properties Adjoining, All with Overgrown Vegetation. Do Our Neighbors Have Responsibility to Maintain Defensible Space on Their Land Adjoining Us?

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

Who Can I Hire to Clear Weeds from Around My House?

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.

Can I Hire Your Goats to Clear My Back Yard?

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

I Need To Remove A Dead Tree or Cut Vegetation Around My Home. Who Can I Hire to Do This Work?

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

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