A simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with easy, inexpensive tips.
Day 2: Cut Your Grass!
Marin's grasslands provide the fuel for our most frequent and fast moving wildfires. Dry grass is particularly susceptible to ignition - carelessly dropped cigarettes, illegal fireworks, mower blades, and hot car mufflers frequently ignite grass fires. These fast-moving fires damage and destroy homes every year in California and Marin, often in the first few minutes of a wildfire before firefighters arrive.
Marin's wet winter is helping grow a record crop of grass. The grass around your home may be green today, but will dry quickly in the spring sun and winds. Now is the time to cut, and be prepared to cut again in mid-late June.
Every homeowner is responsible for maintaining vegetation on their property, and cutting dry grass, like cleaning your roof and gutters, is one of the fastest and most effective ways to protect your home and family.
Take an hour today to cut the grass on your property. This easy and inexpensive step may save your home!
- Start closest to your home, and work outward.
- Cut grass to 3" or less, 30'-100' from all structures, decks, and outbuildings.
- Add additional defensible space on the downhill side if you live on a slope. Even a slight slope will greatly increase the heat and speed of a wildfire.
- Rake up trimmings and dispose of them in your green waste can.
- Cut dry grass in the morning when it's cool and moist.
- Do not cut grass or operate outdoor power tools on hot, dry, or "red flag" days.
- Sparks from some power tools can cause fires. String trimmers are safer than mowers, and newer battery powered models are effective, quiet, lightweight, quiet, and will not cause sparks that start fires.
- Be prepared to cut again within a few weeks if regrowth occurs.
Grass fires are deceptively dangerous, with flames that can explode from inches to tens of feet from a brief gust of wind, these fast moving fires kill more firefighters each year than any other type of fire.
If you see a grass fire:
- Call 911 and report the fire's location.
- Never approach a fire to observe or photograph.
- Stay on pavement and away from unburned grass or vegetation.
- Quickly move downhill, away from the fire.
- Watch out for firefighters, fire engines, and fire equipment.
- Keep your camera drone grounded. Even a single hobby drone in the air will ground all firefighting aircraft, placing lives and property at risk and possibly making you liable for injuries and damage.
Did you complete Day 1: Clean Your Roof and Gutters?