For Immediate Release
January 16, 2014
Fire Marshall, Redwood City
Fire Season 2013 Extended Into 2014
With anticipated record lows of precipitation, a potentially early spring, and a hot/dry summer,the Redwood City Fire Department wants residents to take extra fire precautions
Redwood City, Calif. - The Redwood City Fire Department urges all residents - especially those residents living in the hilly portions of Redwood City, San Carlos, and the unincorporated San Mateo County - to clear brush and grasses to a minimum of 30-ft to 100-ft from their homes or to the property line, whichever comes first. Doing so creates the defensible space as required under State law, and greatly reduces the potential of wildfires destroying homes.
The Redwood City Fire Department has continued the vegetation inspection program performed by Fire Department staff and will do so until further notice. All property owners are strongly urged to do their part in reducing the risk of a major "Urban Wildland Interface/Intermix Conflagration" that will affect our communities.
Specific methods for performing the clearing of dead or dry vegetation can be viewed by visiting the Fire Safe Council of San Mateo County site and CAL FIRE. (The Redwood City Fire Department is an active member of the Fire Safe Council of San Mateo County.)
"All residents are asked to step up their efforts in fire safety in order to protect their family, homes and community," states James Palisi, Redwood City Fire Marshal. "Such a basic step, such as clearing brush away from homes, can keep your family and home safe this extended fire season."
Additional fire prevention tips:
- Cutting and mowing grasses and weeds 4"-6" inches in height will greatly reduce hazardous fuels and reduce the spread of wildfires
- Planting low growing fire resistant vegetation is also encouraged to be planted around the home. Removing dead and dry brush around the home should be done in the same fashion as with the grasses.
- Removing dead and dying tree limbs six to eight feet from the ground will also increase this defensible space.
Removing pine needles and other debris from your roof and gutters is also a critical measure in protecting your home from a fire. The Fire Department also wants to remind residents that the recent freezing cold weather that the area experienced in November and December of 2013 has contributed to killing off brush and trees. This vegetation is now even dryer than it was before the lack of rain.
- Reporting the use of illegal fireworks. All forms of fireworks are illegal in Redwood City, San Carlos, and unincorporated San Mateo County. These include fireworks listed as safe by the California State Fire Marshal's Office. Any person found using such illegal fireworks can be cited and will be held financially responsible for the suppression cost.
Please contact the Redwood City Fire Department at 650.780.7400 for additional information regarding wildfire awareness and creating a defensible space.