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Hazard abatement enforcement begins, County Fire offers free curbside chipping services
In an effort to provide greater fire protection for residents of the Crest Forest Fire Protection District and surrounding communities, the County Fire Department is offering a free wood chipping program. Residents that have property located directly adjacent to the national forest in this area are eligible for the program.
One of the most effective defensive tools against the threat of wildfire is to have “defensible space” around a home. Defensible space is an area surrounding a structure that has been cleared of excess vegetation, debris and/or any other flammable materials. Having good defensible space allows fire crews a chance to more effectively defend a structure against an oncoming fire.
County Land Use Services Department, Code Enforcement Division, began weed abatement inspections on January 13 and will continue until the perimeter of the district is complete. The teams are inspecting high hazard areas adjacent to the national forest boundary for defensible space compliance. Property owners will be contacted by mail if property improvements are needed. In the mailer, a flyer will be included which will contain more information about the chipping program.
Under this program, property owners will be able to have their wood debris chipped and re-distributed back onto their property. These wood chips are far less combustible, and transition from vegetation that supports burning into wood chips that help retard the growth of a fire. The cost of providing this chipping service is being incurred by the County Fire Department.
Property owners are responsible for cutting or raking the materials and having the debris placed curbside for chipping – as no haul away will be available. It is essential that all properties in the area be treated in order to provide the best level of protection. Consequently, if a property owner does not take advantage of the free chipping program in the time frame allotted, then they will be held responsible for the clean-up and removal at their own expense. Wood chipping is scheduled to begin in February; dates and locations to be announced.
It’s not a question of if, but when, the next wildfire will occur. With advance planning and preparation, you can dramatically increase your safety and the survivability of your property. Visit www.sbcfire.org/fire_prevention_advice.aspx to learn how to make your home defensible against fires. The Ready! Set! Go! Personal Wildfire Action Plan gives you the tips and tools to successfully prepare for a wildfire.
For more information, call Land Use Services at 909-884-4056 or the Office of the Fire Marshal at 909-386-8400.