California Governor Gavin Newsom declared this week as “Wildfire Awareness Week” to urge homeowners that “California Wildfires Have Changed, Together We Must Adapt.”
The City of Santa Rosa strongly encourages our community to continue efforts to prepare for wildfires this year. Wildfire Awareness Week increases public awareness and safety through education.
Following the spring season’s significant rainfall and late season storms, seasonal grasses and vegetation have not dried out. As a reminder, Santa Rosa Fire Department staff will begin conducting weed abatement inspections of parcels once the weed abatement season is declared. Given the current forecasts, staff anticipates that this may start by the beginning of June. Information will be posted on the Fire Department Weed Abatement webpage as it becomes available. Regardless, it is not too early for property owners to begin to take proactive steps and make plans for the upcoming cutting of weeds and high grasses on their properties. The following are helpful tips for conducting weed abatement in a safe and effective manner and creating a defensible space:
- Never use a lawn mower in dry vegetation. Use a weed trimmer to cut down dry weeds and grass.
- Remove rocks in the area before operating any equipment. A rock in grass or weeds can start a fire when struck by a metal blade.
- Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney.
- Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.
Property owners are required to cut weeds and grasses over four inches in height on properties located within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), on vacant lots including those in rebuilding areas, or on developed properties with more than a half-acre of unimproved land per the City of Santa Rosa Weed Abatement Ordinance. Owners of properties that do not take action to comply may be subject to a violation and abated by City of Santa Rosa Fire Department. The costs will be the responsibility of the property owner (City Council Resolution No. RES-2017-028.)
For more information on the City’s Weed Abatement Program and to determine if a property is located in the WUI, visit srcity.org/WeedAbatement.
To learn how your can protect your home and create a defensible space in the WUI, visit ReadyForWildfire.org or srcity.org/fire and click on “Wildland-Urban Interface.”