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Create a Fire-Smart Yard

Create a Fire-Smart Yard

Use fire-resistant and drought tolerant plants, materials, and designs to prevent the spread of fire to your home

Maintain Your Defensible Space

Defensible space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surrounds it. It is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. Defensible space requires establishing a healthy, well-maintained landscape with native plants and trees within your property and community zones.

Here are some helpful videos:

Learn more about defensible space zones

Use Fire-Resistant Landscape Design

"Firescaping" is landscape design that reduces house and property vulnerability to wildfire. The goal is to develop a landscape with thoughtful “hardscape” design, coupled with careful choice of plants that offer the best defensible space and enhance the property. The idea is to surround the house with things that are less likely to burn while being beautiful and easy to maintain. When building homes in wildfire-prone areas, fire safety must be the first major consideration in landscape design.

Here are some helpful videos:

Learn more about fire-resistant landscaping

Choose the Right Plants

Fire-smart planting is the cornerstone of a home's defensible space. Remember that all plants will burn if poorly maintained. Choose preferred species, maintain plant and soil health, use species- and location-appropriate irrigation, and remove all dead material regularly.

Learn more about fire-smart and fire-hazardous plants

Use the Right Mulch

Mulch plays an important role in Western residential landscapes. Between organic mulch (e.g. pine needles, bark, shredded western cedar, shredded rubber) and inorganic mulch (e.g. rock, gravel and brick chips), inorganic mulches tend not to burn and are safe to use in any setting.

Learn more about fire-resistant mulch

Use Non-Combustible Materials

Retaining walls can disrupt airflow, creating wind "eddies" that may help keep embers away from your house.  Use masonry, gravel, or stone walls to separate plant groups, adding variety and improving the fire resistance of your landscape.

Another way to break up fuel continuity is to use decorative rock, gravel and stepping stone pathways, cement driveways and walkways, and retaining walls as your landscape’s “hardscape” that is less flammable.

Replace bare, weedy, or unsightly patches near your home with ground cover, rock gardens, vegetable gardens, and fire resistant mulches.

Understand Plant and Tree Spacing

The spacing between grass, shrubs, and trees is crucial to reduce the spread of wildfires. The spacing needed is determined by the type and size of brush and trees, as well as the slope of the land.

Learn more about spacing

Understand Topography

The topography around your home or business, which includes the slope of the land and the direction the structure faces, is a major consideration in assessing the risk exposure to wildfire.

Some helpful videos:

Learn more about topography

Resources

Fire-Smart Landscaping with FIRESafe MARIN and UC Marin Master Gardeners

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Prepare Yourself

Prepare Yourself

Be prepared and know what to do before, during, and after a wildfire

Be Prepared

Sign Up for Alerts & Warning Systems

In an emergency, Marin officials may use many different tools to communicate information and instructions to the community; Alert Marin, Nixle, local TV and radio, and Social Media (Facebook and Twitter) are the primary outlets. Register now and prepare to use these systems before an emergency occurs.

Sign up for alerts and warning systems

Understand Fire Weather & Red Flag Warnings

Fire agencies monitor weather conditions daily and use indexes and predictions to make decisions about how to fight fires and how to prevent new fires from igniting. Residents and visitors to areas where wildfires are likely to occur should be aware of current and predicted weather conditions, and should take additional actions to prepare their family, home, and community when risk is elevated.

Learn about fire weather and Red Flag Warnings

Get Wildfire Insurance

Insurance is the critical backup plan enabling you to rebuild your home and protect your family after a wildfire. Make sure you know how to shop for the right insurance coverage, what to do if your insurer doesn’t renew your policy, and what to expect during an insurance inspection.

Learn about wildfire insurance, non-renewals, and inspections

Invest in Backup Power & Generators

It's very common for the power to go out before a fire strikes since fire and winds can damage electrical infrastructure. You need to be prepared to communicate and escape, even without power. FIRESafe MARIN strongly recommends that all Marin residents invest in backup batteries, uninterruptible power supplies, generators, and battery-powered radios.

Learn more about backup power and generators

Evacuation

Prepare for Evacuation

Make sure that you and your family are prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Prepare a Go-Kit, create a family communication plan, and have your evacuation checklist ready.

View the full evacuation guide

During an Evacuation

When a Red Flag Warning has been issued, or if a fire is burning nearby, you should take steps to prepare for the possibility of evacuation.

Learn more about the evacuation process and sheltering in place

After an Evacuation

Fire officials will determine when it is safe for you to return to your home. This will be done as soon as possible considering safety and accessibility. When you return home:

  • Be alert for downed power lines and other hazards
  • Check propane tanks, regulators, and lines before turning gas on
  • Check your residence carefully for hidden embers or smoldering fires

Resources

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Community Wildfire Preparedness Workshops

community workshops

Helping the community prepare for fire season and engage with Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority member agencies.

About the Program

Prepare For Wildfire Community Workshops provide Marin participants with skills training so they can learn the essential steps to take to get ready for fire season. These workshops also provide opportunities for Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) member agencies to share wildfire mitigation projects conducted in their geographic areas to the public and to answer their questions.

FIRESafe MARIN offers a series of virtual community workshops that cover a variety of topics, including wildfire science, defensible space, home hardening basics, community preparedness, personal preparedness and evacuations. All workshops include discussion, Q&A, and feature a guest speaker that can answer questions specific to a geographic service area of Marin. These workshops teach actionable skills that residents can use right away.

Upcoming workshops

View all upcoming workshops

Past workshops

Marin Wildfire Forum
May 4, 2019

Wildfire Home Hardening Workshop for Homeowners
November 19, 2019

Wildfire Home Hardening Workshop for Building Industry Professionals and Architects
November 19, 2019

Community Wildfire Preparedness Workshop - West Marin
May 2021

Red Flag Warning Signs

FIRESafe MARIN works with local agencies to design and create Red Flag Warning Signs that can be displayed by various communities. Signs have dual messaging: “Red Flag Warning Today” displayed on the front, and various safety messages displayed on the back, making them available for use all year long.

Resources

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

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