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Fire Department News

Posted on: May 19, 2022

Santa Rosa Fire Department to Declare Official Start of Wildfire Season in Santa Rosa

Firefighters in burnt field

The City of Santa Rosa Fire Department will officially declare June 6, 2022, as the start of this year’s wildfire season in Santa Rosa. The date has been determined following late season rains and based on drought conditions, current weather and long-range forecasts.

The Fire Department is asking residents, especially those who live within or around the City’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area, to take steps to prepare properties and update household emergency plans in anticipation of an active wildfire season. Proactive measures taken now will go a long way to protect residents, properties and the community at large for the next several months during the height of a hot and dry season.

“The steps our community has taken since 2017, to provide defensible space, clear brush and cut down dry seasonal grasses has significantly reduced the spread of fires locally,” said Fire Chief Scott Westrope. “We are expecting another long and significant fire season following back-to-back years of drought conditions. I ask our community, again, to take the appropriate measures to protect your home and property this fire season. The work we all continue to do has made Santa Rosa safer.”

Wildfire Ready Resource Fair this Saturday, May 21st
In advance of wildfire season and to inform residents on how best to prepare, the City of Santa Rosa is hosting a Wildfire Ready Resource Fair this Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Courthouse Square. All Santa Rosa residents are encouraged to attend and will learn helpful information about wildfire preparedness, including individual and family preparedness, home and property preparedness, emergency alerts and notifications, evacuation zones for Santa Rosa residents, mental health and other wellness resources, disaster resources for neighborhoods, and more. Visit srcity.org/WildfireReadyResourceFair for more information about Saturday’s event.

Weed Abatement Inspections Triggered by Fire Season Start
The Santa Rosa Fire Department will also initiate annual weed abatement inspections beginning after June 6th to ensure owners of required properties cut weeds and seasonal grasses that are over four inches in height and maintain this practice throughout the fire season. Properties required to take this measure include those within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), on all vacant lots across Santa Rosa (including those in fire rebuilding areas), or on developed properties with more than a half-acre of unimproved land. 

Preparing Households for Wildfire Season
Residents living in or immediately around our Wildland Urban Interface can take the following immediate actions to protect their properties AND prepare their households for a potential emergency:

  • Maintain a ‘defensible space’ of at least 30 feet around the home; trim back trees, especially low hanging branches and branches near rooflines a distance of at least 10 feet.
  • Clean the roof and the gutters of debris.
  • Rake up and remove leaves from around your home and from under decks.
  • Move wood pile and other combustible materials away from your home or deck.
  • Inspect and repair exterior siding, including dry rot, gaps, cracks, and warping to protect your home from embers. 
  • Review emergency plans and evacuation procedures and discuss with all household members.
  • Take stock of emergency essentials like food and water and assessing “Go Bag” needs such as clothing, medicine, and important documents.

For additional information and guidance on wildfire preparedness, view the Santa Rosa Fire Department’s Wildfire Ready online information center at srcity.org/WildfireReady.

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