FIRESafe MARIN News

Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

Alert Marin: Register TODAY

Your preparedness is not someone else's responsibility.  Register for Alert Marin today and prepare in advance for evacuation.

If a wildfire requires evacuation in Marin and time allows, emergency managers will use the "Alert Marin" system to send out notifications by telephone, cellular, VOIP, and text message.  If you live, work or go to school in Marin County, you may register your cell phone or VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone to receive emergency alerts sent by call, text, email, or smartphone application from the County of Marin.

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Evacuation Planning in Marin

Law Enforcement Controls Intersection to Speed Up Evacuation
IMPORTANT!  TO RECEIVE EVACUATION NOTICES IN MARIN, YOU MUST REGISTER FOR ALERT MARIN!  WWW.ALERTMARIN.ORG

If you live in Marin, you must be prepared to evacuate from wildfire.  Although Marin's hillside neighborhoods and "Wildland Urban Interface" (WUI) areas are most at risk, the recent fires in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and Napa show what we've always understood - under extreme conditions and winds, all communities are potentially at risk.  Evacuation planning and disaster preparedness are vital to your family's safety - during large scale and fast moving disasters, you can't count on first-responders arriving to help you in 5 minutes or less like you can on a normal day.

While Marin fire and law enforcement agencies have developed detailed plans and protocols to respond to large wildfires and evacuate residents under variable conditions, it is imperative that residents understand the risk and prepare in advance to evacuate.  The Marin County Fire Chiefs Association and FIRESafe MARIN adopted the Ready-Set-Go wildfire preparedness concept years ago to help educated citizens on their responsibilities and options before, during, and after a wildfire.

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Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa: Our Perspective

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FIRESafe MARIN was formed in 1991, shortly after the Tunnel Fire in the Oakland and Berkeley hills burned 3,400 structures and killed 25 people.  Our newfound mission was simple - to bring people, agencies, and landowners together to address Marin's wildfire risk collaboratively.  Along with San Mateo County's newly formed "Fire Safe Council," this idea was a resounding success, and the FIRESafe MARIN, FIRE SAFE San Mateo model was soon adopted nationwide as Fire Safe Councils took our lead and fomed in all 50 states.  We are now in our 26th year.

It's All in the History

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Marin's CWPP: A Plan to Address Marin's Wildfire Hazard

Marin CWPP Cover
Marin County Community WilDfire Protection Plan (CWPP)

In 2015, CAL FIRE awarded FIRESafe MARIN a $123,200 grant from the SRA Fire Prevention Fee Fund to update the 2005 Marin County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and integrate it with the Marin County Fire Department Unit Strategic Fire Plan.  The plan was completed in 2016, and formally adopted by the Board of Supervisors in early 2017.

A science-based hazard, asset, risk assessment was performed using up-to-date, high resolution topography and fuels information combined with local fuel moisture and weather data. The assessment was focused on identifying areas of concern throughout the county and beginning to prioritize areas where wildfire threat is greatest.  Hazard mitigation efforts can then be focused to address specific issues in the areas of greatest concern (see Sections 4 and 5).

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FAQ: Do I need to clear-cut trees from my property to be "fire safe?"

Trees are ok around a home's defensible space if chosen and located wisely and properly maintained.

 Question:  I have lots of trees on my property.  Am I supposed to cut those down?  It can cost thousands of dollars per tree!   Help!

Answer:  Absolutely not!  Regarding defensible space, we specifically state that mature, native trees rarely need to be removed.  Have an arborist check each tree for health.  Remove all dead wood; remove lower limbs to raise the "skirt" of the trees to at least 6’ above the ground; remove “ladder” fuel such as brush, shrubs, and grass beneath the trees.  Thin the canopy and keep the trees healthy with irrigation appropriate to the species.

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A Fire Safe Home in 7 Days

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Please follow our NEW feature - How to Prepare Your Home and Family For Wildfire in 7-Days!  While wildfire preparedness is a year-round endeavor, you can substantially increase the safety of your family and home in one-week by following our step-by-step guide.

Day 1: Clean Your Roof and Rain Gutters!Day 2: Cut Your Grass!Day 3: Expand Your Defensible SpaceDay 4: Choose the Right PlantsDay 5: Now that You're Ready, Get Set!Day 6: Go! Create an Evacuation PlanDay 7: Help a Neighbor, Organize a Neighborhood
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Should I put a Sprinkler on My Roof (or stand there with a garden hose?)

Don't Be This Guy

Remember that Marin is under a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service until 11PM tonight! 

At FIRESafe MARIN, we are very happy to see many Marin neighborhoods becoming engaged about wildfire safety.  During a recent online discussion, one clever neighbor suggested installing "rain-bird" type sprinklers on a roof as a way to prevent embers from igniting a home.  Discussions and suggestions to improve fire safety among neighbors are extremely valuable, and will benefit us all in the long-run.  That said, this particular suggestion (turning on rain-bird sprinklers when a wildfire is burning nearby) is not advised, for a number of reasons.  

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FIRESafe MARIN Nears Completion on Several Vegetation Management Projects

Roadside Vegetation Removal in Larkspur's Madrone Canyon improves evacuation routes

Each year, FIRESafe MARIN conducts a variety of fire hazard reduction projects in Marin County's Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI) areas.  Projects are funded through Federal, State, and local grants, private grants from partners such as PG&E, and private contributions and donations.

2014-2017 were FIRESafe MARIN's most successful years ever.  In 2017 several new grants were awarded to fund our wildfire prevention projects, bringing the four-year funding total to $1,249,773.  Our fuel reduction and wildfire prevention efforts in span 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.  

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9 Marin Communities Achieve Firewise Recognition. Is Yours Next?

FIRESAFE MARIN CAN HELP YOUR COMMUNITY ACHIEVE FIREWISE RECOGNITION!  SOME INSURANCE COMPANIES NOW OFFER SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNTS TO HOMEOWNERS LOCATED IN RECOGNIZED FIREWISE COMMUNITIES.  CONTACT FIRESAFE MARIN FOR DETAILS.

The Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program is a process that empowers neighbors to work together in reducing their wildfire risk. Join the growing network of more than 1,028 recognized Firewise communities taking action and ownership in preparing and protecting their homes against the threat of wildfire.   

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THE EFFECTIVENESS AND BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING WILDFIRE MITIGATION CONCEPTS ACROSS INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY BOUNDARIES AND THROUGHOUT COMMUNITIES.

Using a five-step process, communities develop an action plan that guides their residential risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging their neighbors to become active participants in building a safer place to live. Neighborhoods throughout the United States are embracing the benefits of becoming a recognized Firewise Community – and you can too!

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Wildfires Raging in California.

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Dozens of Marin Firefighters from every local fire department are deployed across California battling wildfires.  Extreme fire weather conditions have contributed to rapidly growing wildfires in nearly every county in California.  Marin is no exception - complete your defensible space, harden your home, and prepare for evacuation TODAY before it's too late.  

As California's fire season is fully underway, there are approximately 5,000 firefighters out battling 14 large blazes across the state as of Sunday. Cal Fire officials say they are anticipating thunderstorms in parts of the state as a low-pressure trough brings a slight cooling trend.

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FIRESafe MARIN   |   P.O. Box 2831  |   San Anselmo, CA 94979   |   (415) 570-4FSM {4376}   |   info@firesafemarin.org

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