Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

Cascade Canyon in Fairfax Recognized as Marin's Newest Firewise USA Site!


FIRESafe MARIN congratulates Cascade Canyon in Fairfax for achieving national recognition as a Firewise USA™ site!  It is with great pleasure that we welcome Cascade Canyon to the growing number of Firewise sites in Marin, joining with residents throughout the nation who are working to reduce their wildfire risks.

Cascade Canyon's effort to achieve Firewise recognition began before the North bay fires of October 2017, and demonstrates the effectiveness of community organizing to reduce wildfire hazards.  Their group is among Marin's most active and effective, and FIRESafe MARIN looks forward to a productive 2018 with numerous fire safety projects planned for this spring and summer in beautiful Cascade Canyon!

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Homestead Valley Hosts Successful Chipper Days


The Homestead Valley neighborhood held a succesful Chipper Day last week as part of a community effort to prevent wildfires.  Residents removed vegetation to help create defensible space for 27 homes on Madrone Park Circle in the unincorporated communitynear Mill Valley.

The chipper day is considered an investment as part of Homestead Valley's Firewise accreditation, the Homestead Valley Land Trust Firewise site, encompassing 990 homes and nearly 4,000 residents. FIRESafe MARIN will provide a $1,500 matching Firewise grant, while Southern Marin Fire Protection District supported the project with $2,500, and more than $3,000 was be contributed byt the neighborhood trust.  Residents paid more than $20,000 to cut the yard waste that was stacked in piles along the roadside. 

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Goat Grazing Project Underway in Sleepy Hollow and Terra Linda


A herd of 400 goats began grazing the hills of Sleepy Hollow and Terra Linda last week to reduce wildfire fuels.  The large-scale fuel reduction project was initiated by Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District (SHFPD), in cooperation with Marin County Open Space District, FIRESafe MARIN, San Domenico School, Rocking H Ranch, and Triple C Ranch. Goats will graze more tha 140 acres of vegetation across private and public lands to further reduce the risk of wildfire within the region over a three month period.

A herder from Star Creek Land Stewards will set up temporary camps and allow goats to graze specific areas within the 1,172-acre Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Open Space Preserve through mid-May. Priority areas include fire roads and preserve edges where grazing helps maintain defensible space near homes. Herding and protection dogs will be off leash as needed, so the MCOSD is asking visitors to help by not allowing other dogs to chase or harass the goats or herding dogs.  Goats will move to San Domenico School in late May where they will reduce vegetation fuel on more than 20 acres, before walking to nearby Triple-C Ranch in June.  Rocking H Ranch in Lucas Valley is also cooperating in this project, and has succesfully used goats to reduce vegetation in several prior years.

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San Rafael to Offer Free Juniper/bamboo Chipping and Collection Program


The San Rafael Fire Department is sponsoring a program to help reduce the fuel load and provide better defensible space around your home. The City of San Rafael adopted an Ordinance with Vegetation Management Standards for parcels located in designated Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas. The WUI Ordinance requires the creation of Defensible Space around homes that are located in the high fire hazard areas.

Here’s what to do:

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Free Wildfire Preparedness Symposium for West Marin Communities This Sunday!

Free Wildfire Preparedness Symposium for West Marin Communities March 11, 2018

The Inverness Foundation in cooperation with FIRESafe Marin, Marin County Fire Department, Inverness Fire, Marin County CERT, County of Marin, Audubon Canyon Ranch the National Park Service and others will present a Free Symposium on Sunday, March 11th from 1-4:30 at the Dance Palace in Pt Reyes Station.

Topics will include:

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Firewise Workshop for Neighborhood Organizers: Friday, February 9

Marin Firewise Workshop February 9, 2018

FIRESafe MARIN will host a "Firewise Workshop" in Novato, February 9, 2018 from 11:00 am-2:00 pm.

You Can Help Organize Your Neighborhood!

This community workshop will help Marin neighborhoods prepare and organize to achieve Firewise USA recognition.  Learn about the benefits and challenges of Firewise recognition for your neighborhood, while preparing a plan to help your community survive a wildfire.  We'll have representatives from local fire departments, land management agencies like MMWD, Open Space, PG&E, and others to help you understand Marin's wildfire risk and develop a neighborhood-scale plan to address the risk.

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Marin Town Hall on Wildfire Preparedness: Saturday, February 10

Marin Town Hall on Wildfire Preparedness: Saturday, February 10, 2018

Assemblymember Marc Levine and FIRESafe MARIN invite you to hear what state, county, and local governments are doing to prepare for wildfires and how we plan to improve fire safety in Marin.  Learn how to prepare your family, home and property in case of disaster.

A focus of the Town Hall is to inform residents of the work that agencies and individuals have done to plan for a fire disaster and to let them know how wildfire disasters will be handled in Marin County.

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Can Marin Avoid a Firestorm? Marin IJ Live Forum: Wed, January 24

Marin Wildfire Danger
Marin IJ Public Affairs Show Spotlights Wildfire Danger

Marin Independent Journal

Wildfire experts agree that it’s not a question of if, but when a major wildfire will torch Marin County’s hillsides. The debate centers on whether Marin is doing all it can to prepare for the inevitable firestorm.

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URGENT! RED FLAG WARNING Issued for Marin County Through Sun, Dec 17

Red Flag Warning issued for Marin County, California December 15-17, 2017

The National Weather Service has issued a RED FLAG WARNING for Marin County from Friday at 10 pm through Sunday at 10 am.  This type of fire weather is extremely unusual in Marin in December - based on this season's events, FIRESafe MARIN urges Marin residents to take extreme precautions in the coming days.  Strong northerly winds are predicted in the North Bay hills, with very low humidities and unusually low fuel-moistures.  The NWS upgraded this from a Fire Weather Watch to a  RED FLAG WARNING early Friday, based on observed conditions.

What Can I Do to Prepare?

FIRESafe MARIN has developed a 7 step (7-day) guide to quickly preparing your home and family for wildfire, all in less than 1 hour per-day.  We recommend that TODAY you read and complete Day 1: Clean your roof and rain gutters, and Day 5: Now That You're Ready, Get Set! in advance of the predicted fire-weather.

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Open Burning Ban Reinstated in Marin Due to Predicted Fire Weather

Burn Ban in Effect for Marin County

With a National Weather Service warning in place for high winds coming this weekend, Marin County Fire Department Chief Jason Weber has indefinitely suspended open burning in Marin County.

Please refrain from pile burning until after the predicted fire weather recedes.{NOTE: FIRESafe MARIN recommends that Marin residents refrain from any outdoor activity with open flames or sparks, including gas or charcoal barbecues, welding, grinding, or power tool use}

“We are suspending open burning because of predicted fire weather, the lack of precipitation, and unusually dry fuel conditions for this time of year,” Weber said on December 14. “This directive will remain in effect until adequate precipitation is received and fuel conditions are moderated.”

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