Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

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: for National PrepareAthon! Day: 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
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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  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 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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