Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

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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