FIRESafe MARIN News

Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

FIRESafe MARIN to host "pop-up" Living With Fire programs May 4 & 6

FIRESafe MARIN will host two trial runs of an online "ZOOM" version of our popular Living With Fire program, Monday May 4 and Wednesday May 6.  These 45-60 minute presentations will cover specific topics, and moderators will be online to take your (typed) questions.

Due to COVID-19, we cancelled our April and May live presentations.  To fill the gap and reach a wider audience, we'll present shorter verions online, using Zoom, in a trial format.  We'll reach out to attendees and ask that they provide honest feedback on the presentation content and technology, to help us develop better online education programs for delivery in the future.

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3 Marin Firewise Sites Receive Wildfire Prep Day Grants

2020 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day project funding award winners

Thanks to the generous support from State Farm Insurance and the NFPA, 150 communities in the US received project funding awards to support activities aimed at reducing potential loss of life, property and natural resources to wildfire. 

Dominican-Black Canyon, Oak Manor Ridge, and Woodhaven Road Firewise sites each received $500 grants.  Congratulations to these highly motivated communities, and to Firewise USA leaders Jay Hubert, Mary Vidal, and Gina Nellesen!

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Wildfire Community Preparedness Day: Saturday, May 2

NFPA has created Prep Day to raise awareness of wildfire risk, to share information and knowledge, and to help residents make changes to improve the survival of their homes and neighborhoods.  

The COVID-19 health crisis may prevent you from carrying out your preparedness plans and group events. NFPA and State Farm encourage you to postpone meetings and events until it’s safe. NFPA continues to monitor the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other global and local health organizations and resources for developments that may inform future decisions. 

Read a message from NFPA and State Farm about Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and the coronavirus.

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Upcoming NFPA Wildfire Webinars: Wildfires and Insurance

NFPA webinars are presented by industry subject matter experts who take you inside today's codes and give you the latest industry and research developments. Learn about important technical changes in NFPA codes and standards, and stay up-to-date on fire protection, life safety, health care, electrical safety, wildfire, and fire safety research topics. 

Upcoming webinars
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FIRESafe MARIN COVID-19 Update

With the threat of COVID-19 at the top of everyone's minds, FIRESafe MARIN has taken the necessary steps to protect staff, neighborhood leaders, and the community. In response to recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), FIRESafe MARIN staff are working remotely and all organization and Firewise USA leader meetings have been postponed. All in-person community education and meetings are on-hold until further notice.

The County of Marin Department of Public Health has established that vegetation management project for public safety and wildfire preparedness are en essentila public service. FIRESafe MARIN will continue ongoing, grant-funded projects to reduce wildfire hazards durint the shelter-in-place order. We are currently working to reduce roadside vegetation in Central Marin using contractors. Our contractors are utilizing protective measures, including: social distancing among workers and the public; limited public contact; sanitation of tools, and using single tools per crew-member; portable hand washing stations; N95 masks and other PPE if appropriate.

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Measure C: Enacting FIRESafe MARIN's Vision

FIRESafe MARIN Recommends a Yes Vote on Measure C, March 3, 2020

With Marin's "Measure C" on the March 3rd ballot, it's important to keep in mind the wildfires and decades of planning that have lead to this historic effort. FIRESafe MARIN has worked for 29 years to keep Marin homeowners, landowners, private industry, and public agencies, engaged in wildfire risk reduction. The Marin Wildfire Prevention Initiative and Measure C is in many ways the culmination of FIRESafe MARIN's vision.

Since our inception in the aftermath of 1991's firestorm in the nearby Oakland and Berkeley hills, we've worked with the understanding that what your neighbors do matters: a resident of Fairfax must be just as concerned about wildfire prevention efforts in Novato as they are about their neighbors across the street (Case in Point: Marin's largest wildfire in 1923 burned from Novato all the way to Fairfax in a matter of hours).

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FIRESafe MARIN Evacuation Route Clearance Work is underway in Fairfax, Larkspur, Corte Madera

Roadside Vegetation can impact evacuation routes during wildfires
Project work is underway in Corte Madera, Larkspur, Fairfax, and San Anselmo - February through April 2020. 

As California expands efforts to prevent devastating wildfires, CAL FIRE announced on April 16 over $43 million in grants awarded to 66 local fire prevention projects across the state. In Marin county, FIRESafe MARIN was selected to receive $993,500 to help fund a $1.3 million project aimed at improving the safety of evacuation routes in seven central Marin communities. This is one-time funding, with no funds available for maintenance. This grant will allow FIRESafe MARIN to make a "first-pass" at roadside maintenance in seven neighborhoods with critical wildfire evacuation hazards. Please support Measure C on the March 3 ballot if you want to see this type of work in ALL at-risk neighborhoods, and the long term maintenance that's required.

The grant provides funding to seven hillside neighborhoods along the eastern slopes of Mt. Tamalpais.  In order to improve evacuation routes there, vegetation will be reduced along more than 55 miles of roads, improving access and egress, and strategically dispersing fuel reduction over a 3,000-acre geographic area with a long history of wildfires.  The project locations were selected based on priorities identified in the 2016 Marin Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP - www.firesafemarin.org/cwpp).

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EXTREME Fire Weather Predicted for This Weekend: Red Flag Warning Issued

Red flag warning in effect for Marin County October 26-28, 2019

Weather conditions predicted for this weekend, Saturday through Monday are CRITICAL in all parts of Marin. The Fire Weather Watch has been upgraded to a Red Flag Warning. The National Weather Service is predicting conditions similar to, or potentially exceeding, what was observed during the North Bay fires of 2017. Extreme fire weather conditions will impact Marin county. The weather service referred to the forecasted winds as "historic." We aren't taking this warning lightly at FIRESafe MARIN, and neither should you. Prepare TODAY.


 Marin County, CA -- The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning and High Wind Advisory for the North Bay Mountains, interior valleys and other parts of the Bay Area, which is in effect from 8 PM Saturday to 11 AM Monday.

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Public Safety Power Shutdown Possible for Most of Marin This Weekend

Potential Marin PG&E PSPS map for October 26, 2019

SAN RAFAEL, CA – Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has notified the County that it may activate its Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) protocols in response to a high wind event and Red Flag Warning. At 7:30am this morning, PG&E said it could potentially initiate a planned power shutoff in parts of Marin County between 1pm and 5pm on October 26th, 2019.  PG&E estimated that 86,813 metered locations within Marin would be affected by a possible PSPS. The duration of the shutoff is unknown and will be determined by PG&E.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services is putting into motion its Electrical System De-energization Response Plan. Additionally, it is coordinating with nearby response partners in monitoring the power situation. The Emergency Operations Center will be activated in the event of the Public Safety Power Shutoff.  

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Muir Fire Burns 58 Acres in Marin Wednesday

Photo courtesy of Marin IJ

In Marin, a 58 acre wildfire near the coast shut down Highway 1 Wednesday.  The "Muir Fire" was reported around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, and burned on both sides of Shoreline Highway between Stinson Beach and Muir Beach. Firefighters efforts to control the fire were made difficult by strong winds and extremely low humidities associated with the day's extreme fire weather and Red Flag Warning.

FIRESafe MARIN points out that this fire, burning under critical fire weather with easterly "offshore" winds started in the most advantageous location possible in Marin: near highway one, the winds could only push this fire downhill, towards the ocean. In nearly any other location in Marin, a fire under these conditions might have burned significantly more acreage - and some locations in Marin had the potential for a catastrophic wildfire Wednesday due to high winds and low humidities.

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FIRESafe MARIN   |   P.O. Box 2831  |   San Anselmo, CA 94979   |   info@firesafemarin.org

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