San Rafael, CA – There are more than 260,000 people living in Marin County, served by 11 municipal governments and 16 fire agencies. But when it comes to wildfire, jurisdictional boundaries disappear.
Firefighters tend to flames during a training exercise on the St. Vincent’s property near Marinwood.
“Like a flood or an earthquake, a wildfire knows no boundaries,” said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. “It’s imperative that we work together to prevent wildfire and to be prepared for wildfire for the good of our entire community.”
Assuring that countywide coordination will be a key topic during the Marin Wildfire Forum, scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 4, at the Embassy Suites in San Rafael.
Following the devastating fires that hit Sonoma and Napa in 2017, fire chiefs in Marin collaborated with other officials to develop the “Lessons Learned” report that created a roadmap for Marin’s own wildfire prevention and emergency preparedness efforts. The report emphasized that in addition to expanding on existing work, a coordinated countywide approach to wildfire prevention and community preparedness will be critical to meeting the local wildfire challenge.
“The fire chiefs have always been a cohesive group, but these recent fires have certainly brought us closer together,” Chief Bill Tyler, Novato Fire Protection District and current President of the Marin County Fire Chiefs Association told the Marin County Board of Supervisors recently. “These events make it very clear that we must address our wildfire challenge at a greater community level rather than by individual jurisdictions. We know it has to happen. Now it’s just about how to do it.”
The free countywide public forum is an opportunity for residents to learn about local wildfire prevention happening in neighborhoods throughout the county, vegetation management projects on open space lands, emergency preparedness efforts at the community level, and what needs to happen next to meet “Lesson’s Learned” goals. Attendees will also hear from former Paradise, California, resident Shannamar Dewey, learn what they can do to protect their home and property, and discover ways to work together to make Marin as wildfire safe and emergency ready as possible.
At the forum, Tyler plans to present work areas identified as best approached strategically and collaboratively across the county.
“The fire chiefs all agree that countywide participation and coordination is needed to ensure that we have the resources we need to be effective, that those resources are managed efficiently, and that communities throughout the county are as safe and resilient as possible,” Tyler said.
The forum is being hosted by the nonprofit FIRESafe Marin, the Marin County Fire Chiefs Association, the County of Marin, and Firewise USA. Although the forum is free to attend, attendees are encouraged to register online Embassy Suites is located at 101 McInnis Parkway in San Rafael.