FIRESafe MARIN News

Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

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 is
pleased 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."  

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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:

www.ready.gov/september

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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 MARIN
  • Funding Agency: PG&E
  • Grant: $60,000

Fire Lookouts: Remote Fire Sensing Cameras

  • Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARIN
  • Funding Agency: PG&E
  • Grant: $207,000

Mt. Tamalpais Wildland Urban Interface Fuel Break Project

  • Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARIN       
  • Funding Agency: PG&E
  • Grant: $80,000

Woodland Avenue Invasive Vegetation Removal

  • Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARIN
  • Funding Agency: PG&E
  • Grant: $20,000     

FIRESafe MARIN Chipper Day Program          

  • Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARIN
  • Funding Agency: PG&E
  • Grant: $30,000

Community Based Defensible Space Program (Chipper)

  • Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARIN
  • Funding Agency: USDA Forest Service/State Fire Assistance, California Fire Safe Council
  • Grant: $133,772
  • Chipper projects to date (2014):
    • Country Club San Rafael
    • West End Neighborhood Association
    • Nicasio Volunteer Fire Department
    • Sleepy Hollow
    • Fairhills Property Owner's Association
    • Indian Valley Association
    • Tamalpais Community Services District
    • Homestead Valley - Pixie Trail
    • Homestead Valley - Madrone Park Circle

Puerto Suello Hill Fuel Reduction                               

  • Responsible agency: FIRESafe MARIN
  • Funding Agency: PG&E
  • Grant: $60,000
  • Grant 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 www.shfpd.org/chipper-request.  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 www.firesafemarin.org. 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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Defensible Space Helps Protect Tam Valley Homes From Wednesday Night Grass Fires

The Marin IJ profiled a Defensible Space sucess story in Marin last night, when two vegetation fires burned near homes in Tam Valley.

Residents who cleared brush from around their homes on a Tamalpais Valley hillside were credited with helping prevent two grass fires from engulfing the neighborhood Wednesday evening.

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Mill Valley Chipper Days: July 28 - August 1, 2014

In an effort to help you reduce wildfire danger around your home, Mill Valley Fire Department will have a chipper machine and a crew working in several neighborhoods from July 28, 2014 to August 1, 2014.

The following streets are scheduled for the chipper program from July 28 - August 1:

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Sheep Help Reduce Fire Danger in Terra Linda

The Marin Independent Journal recently profiled the use of sheep in Terra Linda in an effort to reduce vegetation fuels near homes.  Goats, and less commonly sheep, are increasingly used as a cost effective and environmentally friendly tool in the effort to maintain vegetation and reduce wildfire danger.

Across the road from where a suspected arson fire threatened two Terra Linda neighborhoods in June, a herd of sheep is munching on dry grass as part of an effort to prevent anymore fires in the area.

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Be Fire Safe, Even When Clearing Defensible Space!

Hundreds of fires are started each year by power tools.   If you live in a wildland area, use extreme caution during fire season.  Lawn mowers, string trimmers, chain saws, grinders, welders, and tractors can all start fires if not used properly.

Mowing:  Striking  rocks can create sparks  and start fireas in dry grass. Use caution, mow only early in the day (before 10AM, when the weather is calm, cool, and moist). 

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Napa Wildfire Burns Homes, Forces Mandatory Evacuations

A massive wildfire burning in a remote area of Napa and Lake counties grew to 3,200 acres by Wednesday morning, threatening nearly 400 homes after destroying at least five Tuesday.

More than 1,000 firefighters, including dozens from Marin, are assigned to fight the "Butts Fire" from land and air as residents choked from smoke-filled skies and prayed that Tuesday's winds and warm temperatures would give way to cooler weather on Wednesday.

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Help Us Launch the FIRESafe NEWS Newsletter!

The new "FIRESafe NEWS" newsletter is distributed weekly by email when news is added to the FIRESafe MARIN website.  Please forward or share this link with your neighbors, friends, and family, and ask them to sign up to receive timely, local, wildfire and fire prevention news, tips, and updates in their inbox.  

Sign up to receive FIRESafe NEWS!

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NIFC Predicted Wildfire Potential, June through September 2014

The Predictive Services section of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) has issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for June through September, 2014.

According to NIFC modeling, the highest wildfire potential will be in:

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Funding Opportunity: 2015 Western States WUI Grant Program

The 2015 Western States Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) grant program is now accepting applications!  Funding is available for hazardous fuel reduction, prevention/education, and planning projects.  The deadline to submit applications to Cal Fire Units and Contract County contacts is JULY 16, 2014.  For detailed information and instructions on how to apply, visit the Cal Fire website: http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/fireplan/fireplanning.php.

Applicants must meet the grant criteria and eligibility. All grant application must meet the 50/50 (“dollar for dollar”) match requirement. Applicants should carefully read the instructions and consult with their local contact (Northern CA & Southern CA) if they have questions.

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Virtual workshop to address roof ignition concerns

Firewise Virtual Workshop: Understanding How Embers Ignite Roofs in a Wildland Fire and How to Make Your Roof More Survivable.

Join Firewise Communities/USA® residents throughout the country in a special virtual workshop event! The one-hour format includes a thirty minute presentation by a subject matter expert followed by a thirty minute live “Ask an Expert” interactive opportunity for pre-selected homeowners to ask a question related to the session’s topic. This unique learning format provides wildland/urban interface homeowners with information on how to make important mitigation modifications at their homes. Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants. Mark your calendars for the next “Ask an Expert” Virtual Workshop and join us August 19 at 2pm MDT for Mulch Combustibility – Choosing the Right Type for Your Wildland/Urban Interface Home. Pre-registration information will be available following the July 15 session.

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USAA Provides Policyholder Discounts in California

The California Department of Insurance has approved a filing by USAA to give homeowners insurance discounts to USAA members living in communities recognized by the Firewise Communities/USA® program.  This discount applies to policies issuing or renewing on or after October 1st 2014.

What is USAA?  

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Extreme Drought Worsens Marin Fire Danger

After three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall, California faces its most severe drought emergency in decades.  Governor Jerry Brown has called for Californians to reduce water use by 20 percent voluntarily, and mandatory rationing could be ordered soon so that homes, businesses and farms don’t run dry over the summer.  Wildfire danger is unusually high across California, with higher than normal fire danger in Marin County, which is classified as "Extreme Drought," the second-highest classification.

Marin County Fire Managers anticipate that the wildland firefighting community will be engaged in more and longer wildfires this year: the little rain we did receive kept large fuel sources (trees) dry while quickly rebuilding the more volatile inventory of ground grasses which have consequently now cured already. Soil moisture typically dampens temperature increases, but because the ground is so dry, ambient temperatures will tend to be warmer this summer.  The result is a landscape primed to burn with diminished supplies of water to fight fire.

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Green Waste Days: June and July 2014

FREE YARD WASTE AND VEGETATION DISPOSAL - In Nicasio, across from Nicasio Corporation Yard.

UPDATED:  July 12-13, 2014
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

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Online Wildfire Updates and Information

Wildfire information and updates on current fires are available from several online sources.
 
This report summarizes the uncontained large fires across the United States and the resources assigned to them. 
 
This information system provides information, photos, maps and updates about wildfires and prescribed fires across the United States. Other incident information (hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.) may be posted here as well. 
 
This information system provides information on large fires in California.  
 
When planning your summer travels, remember to consider fire danger, fire permits, fire restrictions, trail closures, road closures and possible smoke....
 
Have a safe fire season!  
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NPS Fire Crews Gear up for 2014 Season

May 7th kicked off the 2014 season with an emphasis on lessons learned from the tragic loss of 19 firefighters during the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona last year.  "Why did they leave the black?..."  was the unanswered, thought-provoking question that everyone who took the class walked away with. The "black" refers to an area which has already burned, and can provide a safety zone during a wildfire because its fuel has already been consumed.  Flaming front visible from Hwy 89, Yarnell Hill Fire, 2013The National Park Service S.F. Bay Area Network Fire Program consists of a 12-person hand crew,  a 5-person engine crew, leadership, and support staff who will be tasked with a series of fuel reduction projects, while also being ready to respond to wildfires. These resources are augmented with other local crews from Marin County Fire Department and Conservation Corps North Bay who complete park projects through cooperative agreements. Park maintenance divisions also play an important role in reducing fire hazards. Preliminary 2014 fuels management project list:

Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Bayview / Limantour Bishop Pine Thinning
  • Estero Prescribed Fire
  • Highway One Prescribed Fire
  • Bolinas Ridge Fuel Break
Golden Gate NRA
  • Tamalpais Valley Eucalyptus Thinning
  • Marinview Fuel Reduction
  • Fort Barry Eucalyptus Thinning
  • Coral Reef Eucalyptus Thinning
John Muir National Historic Site
  • Mount Wanda Fire Access Mowing
  • Mount Wanda Perimeter Defensible Space
Pinnacles National Park
  • Park Facilities Defensible Space
  • Bear Valley Roadside Fuel Reduction

Fire-related maintenance projects

  • Golden Gate NRA - Boundary Mowing, Rancho Corral de Tierra
  • Point Reyes National Seashore - Roadside Mowing, Limantour 
Project details will be announced soon when the 2014 work plan is finalized.   
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Welcome to FIRESafe MARIN

Welcome to our NEW website for 2014!  

Our Mission

FIRESafe MARIN is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing Wildland Fire hazards and improving Fire-safety awareness in Marin County, California.  We foster community involvement by building partnerships and providing resources for mitigating fire danger.

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

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