FIRESafe MARIN News

Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

Mill Valley Fire Department Hosts Successful NFPA Wildfire Hazard Assessment Class

Mill Valley Fire Department Hosts Successful NFPA Wildfire Hazard Assessment Class

Mill Valley Fire Department and FIRESafe MARIN hosted an excellent class May 15, 2015, "Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone," at the Mill Valley Community Center. NFPA Instructor Gary Marshall, the former deputy fire chief of Bend, Oregon, and an outspoken advocate of Firewise in the fire service community, presented an outstanding program designed to teach homeowners to take action to protect their homes. Exemplifying our mission, community members and fire service professionals worked together in the same room to learn the most up to date strategies for preparing communities for wildfire.

The NFPA Assessing Residential Wildfire Hazards course is a less technical course that provides a thorough overview of how homes ignite from wildfire, and an introduction to the home ignition zone concept and Firewise principles, and actions residents can take to harden homes from wildfire ignitions. This one-day training is a great introductory course for organization and agency staff who are not able to participate in the two-day course in addition to community stakeholders, residents and anyone interested in learning about wildfire hazards and the actions they can implement to reduce potential wildfire losses.

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Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 7: Help a Neighbor, Organize a Neighborhood

Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 7: Help a Neighbor, Organize a Neighborhood
Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2015.  Follow our daily updates for an easy, step by step guide to protecting your home!

This week, FIRESafe MARIN will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.

Day 7: Help a Neighbor, Organize a Neighborhood

 Now that you've followed our step-by-step guide to preparing your home and family for wildfire, why not organize your entire neighborhood?  In order to be truly "fire safe," every home in your community needs to play its part in preparing, by creating defensible space and using fire-safe building materials and practices.

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Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 6: Go! Create an Evacuation Plan

Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 6: Go!  Create an Evacuation Plan
Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2015.  Follow our daily updates for an easy, step by step guide to protecting your home!

This week, FIRESafe MARIN will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.

Day 6: Go!  Create and Evacuation Plan

 Ready, Set, Go.  If you've followed days 1-5 of our Wildfire Preparedness Week step-by-step planning guide, you've now taken steps to "Ready" your home for wildfire, and are "set" to evacuate when the time is right.  Today we'll look at the last step in a process that we hope you'll never face - evacuate.

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Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 5: Now that You're Ready, Get Set!

Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 5: Now that You're Ready, Get Set!
Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2015.  Follow our daily updates for an easy, step by step guide to protecting your home!

This week, FIRESafe MARIN will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.

Day 5: Now that You're Ready, Get Set!

Ready, Set, Go.  If you've followed days 1-4 of our Wildfire Preparedness Week step-by-step planning guide, you've now taken steps to "Ready" your home for wildfire.  By creating Defensible Space, and taking steps to harden your home and maintain fire resistant landscaping, firefighters have a fighting-chance to save your home when wildfire strikes.  Today we'll look at the first stage of preparation to evacuate.

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Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 4: Choose Firewise Plants

Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 4: Choose Firewise Plants
Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2015.  Follow our daily updates for an easy, step by step guide to protecting your home!

This week, FIRESafe MARIN will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.

Day 4: Choose the Right Plants

Plant selection in your garden and the space surrounding your home can play an important role in protecting your property, and your neighborhood, during a wildfire.  FIRESafe MARIN pioneered the concept of a "fire safe" plant list in the early 1990s, partnering with the University of California to develop a list of fire resistant landscaping plants specific to Marin county, and northern California's mediterrannean climate.  Remember that all of California's native plants are adapted to fire - some are resistant to fire and when well maintained require little water and slow the spread of fire.  However, many California natives are among the most flammable plants on earth.  Don't assume that because it's a "native" it will help protect your home from fire!

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Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 3: Expand Your Defensible Space

Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 3: Expand Your Defensible Space
Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2015.  Follow our daily updates for an easy, step by step guide to protecting your home!

This week, FIRESafe MARIN will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.

Day 3: Expand Your Defensible Space

Defensible space is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it.  This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it protects your home from catching fire – either from direct flame contact or radiant heat.  Defensible space is also important for the protection of the firefighters defending your home, and it's required by law!

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Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 2: Cut Your Grass!

Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 2: Cut Your Grass!
Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2015.  Follow our daily updates for an easy, step by step guide to protecting your home!

This week, FIRESafe MARIN will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.

Day 2: Cut Your Grass!

Marin's prolonged drought brings an early fire season.  Grasslands that are normally green in early May began "curing," or drying out, much earlier than normal.  It's these grasses that make up the fuel for Marin's most frequent and fast moving wildfires.  Dry grass is particularly susceptible to ignition -  carelessly dropped cigarettes, illegal fireworks, mower blades, and hot car mufflers are frequent ignition sources.  These fast moving grass fires damage and destroy homes every year in California, and Marin, often damaging or destroying homes in the first few minutes, before firefighters can take action.

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Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 1: Clean Your Roof and Gutters!

Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 1: Clean Your Roof and Gutters!
Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2015.  Follow our daily updates for an easy, step by step guide to protecting your home!

This week, FIRESafe MARIN will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.

Day 1: Clean Your Roof and Rain Gutters!

The single most effective step you can take to protect your home TODAY is to clean all leaves, needles, and debris from your roof and rain gutters!  The most vulnerable part of your home is typically the roof.  Although Class "A" roof construction, required in most Marin jurisdictions for nearly 20 years, is more resistant to fire, even a small handful of leaves or needles can ignite your "fire resistant" roofing.  Fire inspectors find that most homeowners do not properly maintain their roofs, leaving Marin's neighborhoods vulnerable to wildfires.

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Wildfire Preparedness: A Community Responsibility

Wildfire Preparedness: A Community Responsibility
Follow FIRESafe MARIN this Wildfire Preparedness Week, May 3-9, 2015Are you ready for Marin's wildfire season?  Check Your email this week for daily Wildfire Preparedness tips and tricks!

In the face of one of California’s worst droughts in recorded history, water shortages dominate the headlines. However, with the warmer months coming and our green hills beginning to turn to gold, the threat of wildfire looms. Fire officials are bracing for the state’s worst ever wildfire season as the lack of rain has accelerated the onset of the season. Here in Marin, and throughout the state, fire officials are going to peak staffing levels at least a month earlier than normal in response to the dry conditions. 

With these conditions in mind, observing Wildfire Preparedness Day this Saturday May 2, and Wildfire Awareness Week May 3 – 9, is even more important than usual. We invite you to take advantage of the many programs and services available to Marinites to better protect your homes from wildfire by visiting the FIRESafe MARIN website. 

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NATIONAL WILDFIRE COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS DAY 2015

President Obama sends greetings to Wildfire Community Preparedness Day participants in a Presidential Message posted today. Read the President’s full message of encouragement and the role we each play in preparing for wildfires.

Commit a couple of hours, or the entire day, and join others throughout the nation making communities a safer place to live on Saturday, May 2, then follow up for the full wildfire Preparedness week May 3-9.  Challenge friends, family members, a faith-based group or youth organization to create a project. and accomplish something great together!

Efforts will raise wildfire awareness and help protect homes, neighborhoods and entire communities, while increasing safety for wildland firefighters; or your project could lessen current post-fire impacts. 

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County of Marin Suspends Outdoor Residential Burning Due to Fire Danger

Woodacre, CA – As drought conditions continue to increase fire danger in the region, the Marin County Fire Department has suspended all burn permits and Bay Area Air Quality Management District fire authorizations for outdoor open residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Marin County. The suspension takes effect May 1 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris including branches and leaves. The last day of permitted burns is April 30. 

“We are entering the fourth consecutive year of drought in California,” said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. “Our vegetation is beginning to show signs of the stress placed on it, compounding the risk posed from wildfire. With funding from CAL FIRE, we will begin staffing for this fire season nearly 1. months early.” 

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Third Mill Valley Neighborhood Achieves "FIREWISE" Recognition

Mill Valley Fire Department has partnered with a third homeowners\' association to help reduce the threat of wildfire through "Firewise Community" recognition.  The Scott Highlands neighborhood received confirmation of their application for Firewise Community status April 15, after a lengthy community preparedness campaign and application process.

Previously, the Shelter Ridge Homeowners Association and the Blithedale Highlands Neighborhood were certified as Firewise Communities after completing a five-step program and other requirements. Battalion Chief Scott Barnes hopes other Mill Valley neighborhoods will do the same.

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Request for Proposals: Marin County Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Request for Proposals for:

Marin County Community Wildfire Protection Plan 

Issue Date: April 10, 2015

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Mill Valley FD Offers "Assessing Residential Wildfire Hazards" Class May 15

It’s NOT ‘luck’ or ‘a miracle’ when homes survive wildfires! We know that we can’t change the path of a tornado, but we can  change the path of a wildfire! Our homes and communities can  survive, even severe wildfires!  When buildings and landscapes are designed and maintained properly, they have a better chance of withstanding a wildfire by themselves without assistance from firefighters. In fact, managing landscapes around homes and communities can actually improve plant health, keep them compatible with natural ecosystems and allow them to survive dangerous wildfires.

Learning and applying Firewise® principles empowers residents and communities, in all regions of the United States, to improve local and wildland landscapes, provide a safe environment for first responders and protect our homes and communities from severe wildfires.

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FIRESafe MARIN and MCFD Awarded $123,200 Grant to Update Wildfire Plan

FIRESafe MARIN, in cooperation with Marin County Fire Department secured $123,200 to rewrite and update Marin’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan to reduce elevated fire threats during the fourth consecutive year of drought conditions.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CAL FIRE) new statewide Fire Prevention Fund program was created in the 2014-15 state budget to provide more than $9.5 million in grants to local agencies to aid them in their wildfire prevention efforts during the drought.

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View Marin's WIldfire Detection Cameras Online

During California’s record drought of 2014, FIRESafe MARIN, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and Marin County Fire Department collaborated on the installation of a high-tech, remote wildfire detection system on four critical peaks in Marin county.  FIRESafe MARIN donated the $207,000 system, funded through a partnership with PG&E, installing the special cameras, support software, servers, and panoramic monitoring displays in the Emergency Command Center in Woodacre, where dispatchers will have access to the system 24-hours a day during fire season.  The effort is part of an ongoing partnership between PG&E and private, public and community organizations to prevent additional fires from sparking during the California wildfire season, which typically reaches its peak in late fall.

Watch PG&E's video on the statewide project, highlighting Marin as the first cameras installed in the system.

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Extended Drought Will Likely Adversely Impact Marin's 2015 Fire Season

Extended Drought Will Likely Adversely Impact Marin's 2015 Fire Season

The weekly Drought Monitor was issued this morning and it contains no change to the conditions in our area. We remain between D2 (Severe Drought) and D4 (Exceptional Drought) with the worst conditions experienced south of SF Bay and inland. Please see attached images. 

The heavy rains of December had kept our rainy season (July 1- today) totals close to normal for a while, but the dry weather of 2015 has pushed our seasonal numbers back to below normal for most locations (exception Monterey airport and Moffett Field). Note that for our calendar year rain of 2015 so far, we have experienced only 15-38% of normal at local observation sites.

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National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day: May 2, 2015

FIRESafe MARIN is proud to announce the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day 2015.  Watch here and subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on planned events and learn ways to help your neighborhood participate.

Commit a couple of hours, or the entire day and join others throughout the nation making communities a safer place to live on Saturday, May 2, 2015.  Challenge friends, family members, a faith-based group or youth organization to create a project and accomplish something great together!  

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Mill Valley Neighborhoods Achieve "FIREWISE" Accreditation

The Shelter Ridge Homeowners Association has garnered accreditation through the National Fire Protection Association’s “Firewise Communities” Program, becoming the second local community to complete the five-step path to reducing its collective fire risk. 

The 184-home Shelter Ridge HOA’s Firewise recognition comes five months after the 11-home Blithedale Highlands (Kite Hill) neighborhood association did the same. The Mill Valley Fire Department is looking to build on that momentum to get more communities on board with Firewise, helping homeowners both reduce their insurance premiums and lessen the risk of being dropped by their carriers. 

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WUI Fire Statistics Highlighted in "Brush, Grass and Forest Fires" Report by NFPA (infographic)

WUI Fire Statistics Highlighted in "Brush, Grass and Forest Fires" Report by NFPA (infographic)

Fires in the wildland/urban interface (WUI) are mainstream news these days. According to the NFPA, nine of the 25 costliest (in terms of property loss) fires in U.S. history were described as forest, wildland or WUI fires, and the eight costliest fires all occurred in the last two decades.

These numbers are included in the 2013 NFPA report Brush, Grass and Forest Fires, which provides many great statistics about the types, the sizes, the causes and circumstances of wildfires, firefighter fatalities and more, from 2007-2011. If you haven't taken a peak at the report, check it out today. Not interested in reading the full document? NFPA just completed a great infographic highlighting some of the major statistics of the report. Find it below and on the wildfire reports page of the NFPA website.

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PG&E, FIRESafe MARIN, and County of Marin Collaborate to Install Fire Detection Camera System in Marin

Remote Sensing Cameras, Software, to Aid in Early Wildfire Detection

Woodacre, CA. — As California’s record drought conditions exacerbate wildfire danger statewide, FIRESafe MARIN, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and Marin County Fire Department announce the installation of a high-tech, remote wildfire detection system on four critical peaks in Marin county.  PG&E funded $207,000 to FIRESafe MARIN to install the special cameras, as well as support software, servers, and panoramic monitoring displays in the Emergency Command Center in Woodacre, where dispatchers will have access to the system 24-hours a day during fire season.  The effort is part of an ongoing partnership between PG&E and private, public and community organizations to prevent additional fires from sparking during the California wildfire season, which typically reaches its peak in late fall.

“PG&E and FIRESafe MARIN worked hard to secure this critical funding,” said Todd Lando, Coordinator for FIRESafe MARIN.  “Our partnership with PG&E and Marin County Fire Department provided the opportunity to improve the County’s wildfire detection and monitoring capabilities, supplementing the daytime-only volunteer fire lookouts with 24-hour coverage, and views from additional peaks in northern and West Marin.”  FIRESafe MARIN will donate the system to the County of Marin.

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San Geronimo Wildfire Burns 4 Acres in Roy's Redwoods

San Geronimo Wildfire Burns 4 Acres in Roy's Redwoods

San Geronimo, CA – One of Marin County’s largest redwood groves was charred by a wildfire Tuesday near San Geronimo, but Marin County Fire Department crews were aided by cool and foggy weather.

By 4:45 p.m., the fire in Roy’s Redwoods Open Space Preserve just east of Nicasio Valley Road was estimated at four acres and was 90 percent contained. At the height of the fire, temperatures in the area were in the mid-50s with wind gusts up to 19 mph. 

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Nicasio Chipper Days: October 21-22

FIRESafe MARIN will sponsor Chipper Days in Nicasio October 21-22, in cooperation with Nicasio Volunteer Fire Department to help residents improve Defensible Space and reduce fire hazards in Marin.  Funding for this program is provided by FIRESafe MARIN, Nicasio Volunteer Fire Department, PG&E, and a cooperative grant from the US Forest Service.

Dear Nicasio Neighbors,

To help reduce the risk posed by wildfire, Nicasio Volunteer Fire Department ispleased to announce that we've been awarded a "chipper grant" from Fire Safe Marin. With a match from NVFD, this grant will pay for a mobile crew to chip and, if needed, haul away fuels that residents cut to create or maintain defensible space around their homes.

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Wildfires Raging Across Northern California - ARE YOU PREPARED?

Marin County firefighters are fighting fires across northern California today, following a week of intense fire activity.  A fast moving wildfire in Weed, near Mt Shasta, burned more than 200 homes in a few hours, devastating nearly half of the town.  The King Fire near Tahoe tripled in size yesterday, and has forced more than 2000 evacuations.  Marin firefighters are currently assisting on both of these devastating fires.

FIRESafe MARIN reminds all Marin residents that the danger is particularly severe right in your backyard!  Take time today to complete simple steps to prepare your home, even if you've already created your required "Defensible Space."  

Check and clean your rain gutters and roof.  Even a tiny handful of leaves or needles is enough to destroy your home when a nearby wildfire drops embers.Clean all fallen leaves and needles within 30' of your home.Keep your property clean and free of stored combustibles like firewood.  Move outdoor furniture away from buildings if it's made from wood, plastic, or has foam cusions.Cut all grasses within 100' of all structures.Ensure that your family has an escape plan, and practice your evacuation plan before it's too late.Follow our guides for creating Defensible Space and hardening your home, but ensure that steps 1-4 are complete TODAY!
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Kent Woodlands Wildfire Highlights Fire Danger

A vegetation fire of one acre was contained by firefighters Wednesday, September 10, 2014, on Hillside Avenue in the Kent Woodland’s neighborhood.  No homes were damanged, and no injuries were reported.  Although temperatures were warm, easy access, low winds, and relatively high humidity allowed firefighters to control the fire quickly.  Firefighters know that due to the extreme drought conditions, Marin's vegetation is at critically low fuel moisture levels - a fire like this on a day with even moderate winds could spell disaster for all of the communities built around the base of Mt Tamalpais.

FIRESafe MARIN and our partner agencies are working on vegetation management projects in the area in our ongoing effort to improve the survivability of Marin's hillside neighborhoods in the event of a wildfire.  Our efforts depend on the cooperation of all homeowners throught the creation of Defensible Space (it's the law!) and community level preparedness.

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September is National Disaster Preparedness Month

2014 NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH (NPM)"Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare"

During National Preparedness Month we ask you, your family, community and workplace to take action by planning a National PrepareAthon! Day on or around September 30th. We recommend using digital media tools as a way to promote National Preparedness Month, September 1-30th.

What you can do to promote National Preparedness Month:Check out the How to Get Involved in NPM Quick GuideDownload the 2014 National Preparedness Month Digital Engagement ToolkitShare NPM messages on Social MediaView and share the new Ready Campaign Public Service AnnouncementsJoin the National Preparedness Community and download the high resolution NPM logoPromote NPM by updating your Facebook and Twitter cover photo and profile imageFor NPM materials in Spanish please visit: www.ready.gov/es/septiembreRegister for National PrepareAthon! Day: www.ready.gov/prepareOn September 2nd, nearly one thousand of your neighbors joined ourThunderclap message reaching over 6.7 million people, allowing their social network followers know that it’s National Preparedness Month. How doesThunderclap work? Once you've signed up, Thunderclap will sync your social media accounts to release an automatic Facebook post or Tweet.www.ready.gov/september
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FIRESafe MARIN Working on Record Number of Wildfire Safety Projects in Marin

2014 has been one of FIRESafe MARIN's most successful years in history, with more than $486,000 in grants awarded.  Our fuel reduction efforts in 2014 have spanned the entire County, from West Marin to Sausalito, involving thousands of volunteer hours and dozens of state, federal, and local public land management agencies, private homeowner's associations, businesses, PG&E, and every Marin fire agency.  This is a partial list of projects funded in 2014.

King Mountain Fire Fuel Reduction                               Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARINFunding Agency: PG&EGrant: $60,000Fire Lookouts: Remote Fire Sensing CamerasResponsible agency: FIRESafe MARINFunding Agency: PG&EGrant: $207,000Mt. Tamalpais Wildland Urban Interface Fuel Break ProjectResponsible agency: FIRESafe MARIN       Funding Agency: PG&EGrant: $80,000Woodland Avenue Invasive Vegetation RemovalResponsible agency: FIRESafe MARINFunding Agency: PG&EGrant: $20,000     FIRESafe MARIN Chipper Day Program          Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARINFunding Agency: PG&EGrant: $30,000Community Based Defensible Space Program (Chipper)Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARINFunding Agency: USDA Forest Service/State Fire Assistance, California Fire Safe CouncilGrant: $133,772Chipper projects to date (2014):Country Club San RafaelWest End Neighborhood AssociationNicasio Volunteer Fire DepartmentSleepy HollowFairhills Property Owner's AssociationIndian Valley AssociationTamalpais Community Services DistrictHomestead Valley - Pixie TrailHomestead Valley - Madrone Park CirclePuerto Suello Hill Fuel Reduction                               Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARINFunding Agency: PG&EGrant: $60,000Grant number: NOR-00131
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Sleepy Hollow Chipper Day: August 24, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014, Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District and FIRESafe MARIN will sponsor a “Chipper Day” for all residents of Sleepy Hollow.  To participate, you must sign up through our SHFPD's new website at www.shfpd.org/chipper-request.  Chipper crews will visit your property and dispose of cut vegetation at no cost.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR FREE CHIPPING!1. Create Defensible Space (it's the law!)

Please review the  booklet, “Living With Fire in Sleepy Hollow.”  All Sleepy Hollow residents should have received a printed copy by mail in early August, 2014, and a PDF version is available for download here...  This new booklet contains valuable information regarding wildfire risk, defensible space, and firescaping in Sleepy Hollow.   Additional information on creating Defensible Space is available at www.firesafemarin.org. The law requires that all property owners remove the flammable vegetation on your property to create a defensible space of at least 100 feet (PRC 4291). 

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Defensible Space Helps Protect Tam Valley Homes From Wednesday Night Grass Fires

The Marin IJ profiled a Defensible Space sucess story in Marin last night, when two vegetation fires burned near homes in Tam Valley.

Residents who cleared brush from around their homes on a Tamalpais Valley hillside were credited with helping prevent two grass fires from engulfing the neighborhood Wednesday evening.

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Mill Valley Chipper Days: July 28 - August 1, 2014

In an effort to help you reduce wildfire danger around your home, Mill Valley Fire Department will have a chipper machine and a crew working in several neighborhoods from July 28, 2014 to August 1, 2014.

The following streets are scheduled for the chipper program from July 28 - August 1:

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Sheep Help Reduce Fire Danger in Terra Linda

The Marin Independent Journal recently profiled the use of sheep in Terra Linda in an effort to reduce vegetation fuels near homes.  Goats, and less commonly sheep, are increasingly used as a cost effective and environmentally friendly tool in the effort to maintain vegetation and reduce wildfire danger.

Across the road from where a suspected arson fire threatened two Terra Linda neighborhoods in June, a herd of sheep is munching on dry grass as part of an effort to prevent anymore fires in the area.

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Be Fire Safe, Even When Clearing Defensible Space!

Hundreds of fires are started each year by power tools.   If you live in a wildland area, use extreme caution during fire season.  Lawn mowers, string trimmers, chain saws, grinders, welders, and tractors can all start fires if not used properly.

Mowing:  Striking  rocks can create sparks  and start fireas in dry grass. Use caution, mow only early in the day (before 10AM, when the weather is calm, cool, and moist). 

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Napa Wildfire Burns Homes, Forces Mandatory Evacuations

A massive wildfire burning in a remote area of Napa and Lake counties grew to 3,200 acres by Wednesday morning, threatening nearly 400 homes after destroying at least five Tuesday.

More than 1,000 firefighters, including dozens from Marin, are assigned to fight the "Butts Fire" from land and air as residents choked from smoke-filled skies and prayed that Tuesday's winds and warm temperatures would give way to cooler weather on Wednesday.

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Help Us Launch the FIRESafe NEWS Newsletter!

The new "FIRESafe NEWS" newsletter is distributed weekly by email when news is added to the FIRESafe MARIN website.  Please forward or share this link with your neighbors, friends, and family, and ask them to sign up to receive timely, local, wildfire and fire prevention news, tips, and updates in their inbox.  

Sign up to receive FIRESafe NEWS!
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NIFC Predicted Wildfire Potential, June through September 2014

The Predictive Services section of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) has issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for June through September, 2014.

According to NIFC modeling, the highest wildfire potential will be in:

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Funding Opportunity: 2015 Western States WUI Grant Program

The 2015 Western States Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) grant program is now accepting applications!  Funding is available for hazardous fuel reduction, prevention/education, and planning projects.  The deadline to submit applications to Cal Fire Units and Contract County contacts is JULY 16, 2014.  For detailed information and instructions on how to apply, visit the Cal Fire website: http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/fireplan/fireplanning.php.

Applicants must meet the grant criteria and eligibility. All grant application must meet the 50/50 (“dollar for dollar”) match requirement. Applicants should carefully read the instructions and consult with their local contact (Northern CA & Southern CA) if they have questions.

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Virtual workshop to address roof ignition concerns

Firewise Virtual Workshop: Understanding How Embers Ignite Roofs in a Wildland Fire and How to Make Your Roof More Survivable.

Join Firewise Communities/USA® residents throughout the country in a special virtual workshop event! The one-hour format includes a thirty minute presentation by a subject matter expert followed by a thirty minute live “Ask an Expert” interactive opportunity for pre-selected homeowners to ask a question related to the session’s topic. This unique learning format provides wildland/urban interface homeowners with information on how to make important mitigation modifications at their homes. Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants. Mark your calendars for the next “Ask an Expert” Virtual Workshop and join us August 19 at 2pm MDT for Mulch Combustibility – Choosing the Right Type for Your Wildland/Urban Interface Home. Pre-registration information will be available following the July 15 session.

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USAA Provides Policyholder Discounts in California

The California Department of Insurance has approved a filing by USAA to give homeowners insurance discounts to USAA members living in communities recognized by the Firewise Communities/USA® program.  This discount applies to policies issuing or renewing on or after October 1st 2014.

What is USAA?  

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Extreme Drought Worsens Marin Fire Danger

After three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall, California faces its most severe drought emergency in decades.  Governor Jerry Brown has called for Californians to reduce water use by 20 percent voluntarily, and mandatory rationing could be ordered soon so that homes, businesses and farms don’t run dry over the summer.  Wildfire danger is unusually high across California, with higher than normal fire danger in Marin County, which is classified as "Extreme Drought," the second-highest classification.

Marin County Fire Managers anticipate that the wildland firefighting community will be engaged in more and longer wildfires this year: the little rain we did receive kept large fuel sources (trees) dry while quickly rebuilding the more volatile inventory of ground grasses which have consequently now cured already. Soil moisture typically dampens temperature increases, but because the ground is so dry, ambient temperatures will tend to be warmer this summer.  The result is a landscape primed to burn with diminished supplies of water to fight fire.

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Green Waste Days: June and July 2014

FREE YARD WASTE AND VEGETATION DISPOSAL - In Nicasio, across from Nicasio Corporation Yard.

UPDATED:  July 12-13, 20149:00 AM to 4:00 PM

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Online Wildfire Updates and Information

Wildfire information and updates on current fires are available from several online sources. National Interagency Coordination Center Situation ReportThis report summarizes the uncontained large fires across the United States and the resources assigned to them.  National Incidents - Inciweb Incident Information SystemThis information system provides information, photos, maps and updates about wildfires and prescribed fires across the United States. Other incident information (hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.) may be posted here as well.  CAL Fire Incident Information This information system provides information on large fires in California.   When planning your summer travels, remember to consider fire danger, fire permits, fire restrictions, trail closures, road closures and possible smoke.... Have a safe fire season!  
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NPS Fire Crews Gear up for 2014 Season

May 7th kicked off the 2014 season with an emphasis on lessons learned from the tragic loss of 19 firefighters during the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona last year.  "Why did they leave the black?..."  was the unanswered, thought-provoking question that everyone who took the class walked away with. The "black" refers to an area which has already burned, and can provide a safety zone during a wildfire because its fuel has already been consumed.  Flaming front visible from Hwy 89, Yarnell Hill Fire, 2013The National Park Service S.F. Bay Area Network Fire Program consists of a 12-person hand crew,  a 5-person engine crew, leadership, and support staff who will be tasked with a series of fuel reduction projects, while also being ready to respond to wildfires. These resources are augmented with other local crews from Marin County Fire Department and Conservation Corps North Bay who complete park projects through cooperative agreements. Park maintenance divisions also play an important role in reducing fire hazards. Preliminary 2014 fuels management project list:

Point Reyes National SeashoreBayview / Limantour Bishop Pine ThinningEstero Prescribed FireHighway One Prescribed FireBolinas Ridge Fuel BreakGolden Gate NRATamalpais Valley Eucalyptus ThinningMarinview Fuel ReductionFort Barry Eucalyptus ThinningCoral Reef Eucalyptus ThinningJohn Muir National Historic SiteMount Wanda Fire Access MowingMount Wanda Perimeter Defensible SpacePinnacles National ParkPark Facilities Defensible SpaceBear Valley Roadside Fuel ReductionFire-related maintenance projectsGolden Gate NRA - Boundary Mowing, Rancho Corral de TierraPoint Reyes National Seashore - Roadside Mowing, Limantour Project details will be announced soon when the 2014 work plan is finalized.   
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Welcome to FIRESafe MARIN

Welcome to our NEW website for 2014!  

Our Mission

FIRESafe MARIN is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing Wildland Fire hazards and improving Fire-safety awareness in Marin County, California.  We foster community involvement by building partnerships and providing resources for mitigating fire danger.

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FIRESafe MARIN   |   P.O. Box 2831  |   San Anselmo, CA 94979   |   info@firesafemarin.org

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