Help Protect Our Community from Wildfires
Weed Abatement Program / Fire Season Update (4.13.21)
Weed Abatement Program & Ordinance Overview
To help reduce the threat of fires during fire season, the City of Santa Rosa has a Weed Abatement Ordinance (Ordinance No. 3681) that requires property owners to cut weeds and grasses that are over four inches in height once fire season is declared, and maintain that level of compliance throughout the duration of the season.
The ordinance applies to owners of any of the following:
- Undeveloped properties (vacant lots) including those in the fire rebuild areas
- All developed properties over .5 acres with over .5 acres of unimproved land
- All properties located in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Area
Once the Santa Rosa Fire Department staff begins conducting weed abatement inspections of parcels they will continue inspections throughout the fire season. Owners of properties that do not take action to comply may be subject to a violation and abated by the City of Santa Rosa Fire Department. The costs will be the responsibility of the property owner (per City Ordinance No. 3681.)
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to fire prevention. Your diligence in maintaining your property for your own personal safety and and the safety of the community is appreciated.
Weed abatement and vegetation management are not one in the same. For information on Vegetation Management, please visit the WUI & Vegetation Management page.
Properties within Tubbs and Nuns Fire Rebuild Areas
Parcels located within the October 2017 wildfires burn scar areas, that have yet begun rebuilding, will be considered vacant/undeveloped land and will be required to comply with the weed abatement ordinance. This will help to ensure the safety of our community as we approach fire season and reduce the risk associated with drying seasonal grasses within the rebuild areas.
Weed Abatement on City-Maintained Properties
The abatement of weeds on city-maintained parcels, including parks and open space within the WUI, has started and will continue into the fire season. The schedule for abating weeds on City-maintained property prioritizes addressing areas of high-fire threat first. Therefore, you may observe unsightly weeds and high grass in lower priority areas — outside of the wildland urban interface — for longer periods of time. The prioritization order for weed abatement on City-maintained properties is as follows:
- 2020 wildfire burn scar areas that include Skyhawk and Oakmont
- 2017 wildfire burn scar areas including Fountaingrove, Hidden Valley and Coffey Park
- Other areas in or adjacent to the Wildland Urban Interface area
- Other City parcels outside of WUI, focusing first on larger undeveloped areas such as those that exist within A Place to Play and Youth parks
Report a Weed Abatement Nuisance
To report a weed abatement nuisance, follow the below steps.
1. Download and complete the Weed Abatement Complaint Form (PDF)
- All complaints must be filed in writing.
- Including photos with the complaint form is helpful.
- The information provided will be kept confidential.
2. Choose one of the following methods to submit the form to the Santa Rose Fire Department:
- Fax: 707-543-3520
- Email: email@example.com
- Mail to: City of Santa Rosa Weed Abatement Program
2373 Circadian Way
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Weed Abatement staff respond to each complaint; however, they may not follow up with you unless they have questions. Complaints received after the declaration of Fire Season will be reviewed to see if the parcel meets the criteria as noted above and followed up on if applicable. If the complaint does not meet the criteria, it will be forwarded to Code Enforcement for investigation. In addition, due to laws prohibiting illegal searches, inspectors will not look over fences, climb fences, enter a backyard or enter a residence to confirm weed complaints. All weed violations must be visible from the street and must be in the City of Santa Rosa’s jurisdiction.
- Where does Weed Abatement apply?
- What is Weed Abatement?
- Does the Fire Department spray for weeds or perform the removal of weeds/rubbish?
- What do I do if I receive a notice?
- What does it mean if I have received a "violation notice"?
- Can I dispute a violation or an invoice?
- What if I do nothing?
- Will I be charged for that?
- What if I am the new owner, and the previous notices were not received by me?
- What if the parcel is owned by a group/corporation, and I was not receiving my mail at my mailing address?