For Immediate ReleaseMarch 07, 2017
Collaborative document designed to increase risk awareness
San Rafael, CA – After several years of collaboration with community members, fire departments and land management agencies, the Marin County Fire Department and nonprofit FIRESafe MARIN have updated a comprehensive countywide framework on improving community protection from wildfires.
The Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), approved by the Marin County Board of Supervisors at its March 7 meeting, includes actions to reduce the ignitibility of homes and other structures within Marin’s wildland urban interface (WUI). An estimated 69,000 homes are built within Marin’s WUI, in which homes are at greater risk of wildfire because of surrounding vegetation and proximity to wildlands. The CWPP update was funded through a grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as CAL FIRE.
“A lot of work went into this plan, and we’re very happy with the final product,” said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. “Even though we’ve had lots of rain the past few months, we’re guaranteed to have a significant wildfire threat every year because of where we live and our annual weather patterns mixed with vegetation. Our amazing vegetative landscape is also amazingly effective at fueling a wildfire.”
Marin County Fire and FIRESafe MARIN hosted four community workshops in fall 2015 and incorporated feedback into the final 127-page report. Contributions were made by local fire agencies and officials from local, state and federal agencies. FIRESafe MARIN, created by a Board of Supervisors resolution following the devastating Oakland Hills Fire of 1991, is a network of organizations and individuals dedicated to reducing wildfire hazards and improving resident safety.
The result is a document packed with maps, statistics, and a compilation of key goals and corresponding action items assigned to participating agencies. The fire fuel reduction goals in the plan range from preventive controlled burns of cleared vegetation, the creation of fuel breaks, and public education about defensible space around homes. This is the first update to the CWPP in 10 years.
“The CWPP update represents a significant milestone in our use of technology to analyze risk and identify areas in Marin where wildfire hazard is greatest,” said Todd Lando, FIRESafe MARIN’s Coordinator. “By leveraging technology to map Marin’s current vegetation, the fuel for wildfires, and state-of-the-art wildland fire modeling, we now have a much better understanding of where the risk and fire hazard is greatest and where we should focus our future mitigation efforts.”
Weber said the creation of the 14-member Tamalpais Fire Crew 12 years ago has been “a great investment” by the Supervisors, and prevention efforts to clear vegetation away from dwellings are helping with preparedness. The Tam Crew cuts, piles and burns vegetation to create safer areas for wildfire suppression in addition to answering the call during wildfires. It has provided mutual aid during wildfires all over the state.
Weber urges Marin residents to check firesafemarin.org, www.marincountyfire.org and www.readymarin.org to take preemptive actions in and around homes and prepare plans READY, SET, GO for quick evacuations in case a devastating wildfire strikes nearby.
“Whether your family has been in Marin for generations or you’re brand new to the area, we strongly suggest that you gain a solid understanding of your neighborhood and its surrounding natural environment and create defensible space,” Weber said.
Jason WeberChiefMarin County Fire Department
33 Castle Rock Ave.Woodacre, CA 94973(415) 473-6717Email: Jason WeberMarin County Fire website