Some of what we all want to protect. Please join us and your neighbors in the Point Reyes Disaster Council. Photo ©Lynn Axelrod 2014

Some of what we all want to protect. Please join us and your neighbors in the Point Reyes Disaster Council. Photo ©Lynn Axelrod 2014

July 8 Free FIRESafe Marin Workshop

Pre-registration requested due to limited class size. When buildings and landscapes are designed and maintained properly, they have a better chance of withstanding a wildfire by them- selves without assistance from firefighters. In fact, managing landscapes around homes and communities can actually improve plant health, keep them compatible with natural ecosystems and allow them to survive dangerous wildfires. ... Learning and applying Firewise® principles empowers residents and communities, in all regions of the United States, to improve lo- cal and wildland landscapes, provide a safe environment for first responders and protect our homes and communities from severe wildfires. To pre reg contact Scott Barnes, Battalion Chief, Mill Valley Fire Department sbarnes@cityofmillvalley.org, 415-389-4139 (Mill Valley Comm. Cntr., more info)

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July 8 & 9 Free Green Materials Drop-off

The next 2017 free yard debris drop off date is July 8 & 9, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

This is your opportunity for free and safe disposal of yard debris such as branches, grass and brush. No building materials, general debris or garbage and no palm trees please. Marin residents only. The program is set up to remove vegetation/debris to create defensible space and increase the chances of their homes surviving a wildfire. Location:  5575 Nicasio Valley Rd., Nicasio. Across from the Nicasio Corporation Yard. 415 662 9849. Sponsored by: Marin County Board of Supervisors; Marin County Fire Department & West Marin Compost.

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Learn How to Save a Life at ‘Don’t Miss a Beat’

Quick stop at annual training increases odds of bystanders becoming heroes

June 10, 2017 - In the heat of the moment, would you be able to keep your wits and help save a person who was in cardiac arrest or bleeding from a wound? You might have doubts, but you can increase your chances of becoming a lifesaver on Saturday, June 10, by spending just 5 minutes at Marin County’s annual “Don’t Miss a Beat” event.

The Marin County Emergency Medical Services Agency (Marin EMS), the Marin County Fire Department and Marin County Health and Human Services are combining talents with other Marin agencies for the eighth annual training to teach hands-only CPR and “stop the bleed” techniques to anybody 8 years old and up. Visitors can swing by any of 19 venues all over the county between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency first aid at no cost.

About 1,900 people participated in Marin last year, a year when 46 percent of cardiac arrest patients received assistance from a bystander in the minutes before a professional first responder arrived. (More info and locations, including West Marin)

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Despite Greenery, Wildfire Season Approaches

  Is your home defensible? Assess vegetation and help reduce fire fuels

San Rafael, CA, May 4, 2017 – After an epic soak over the past few months, vegetation in Marin County is lush – like we haven’t seen it in years. The drought is in the rear-view mirror, but the inevitable wildfire season is coming back into view. ... “As odd as might sound to us now, we’re starting to look at increased seasonal staffing like we do every year,” said Chief Jason Weber of the Marin County Fire Department. “Most of our residents live either within or very close to those beautiful undeveloped hills and valleys that attracted many of us here in the first place. Because of that, we’re going to have periods of heightened alerts as it gets drier.”

A home might be the most valuable investment you ever make, and defensible space – the buffer zone between a building and nearby vegetation – is essential to improve chances of it burning in a wildfire. Residents are urged to take steps now to create defensible space and protect their investment through responsible landscaping and the use of fire resistant construction materials.

“Defensible space increases the survival chances of your home while making it safer for firefighters who might be called upon to defend your home,” Weber said, “and I can assure you that we really appreciate the support.”

The Bay Area’s weather over the past few months added a new dynamic to this coming fire season, which is due to begin in late spring. The end of California’s five-year drought left behind a buildup of dead trees and shrubs interspersed among incredible vegetation growth from Marin’s wettest winter in more than 20 years.

“Everybody’s saying we’re all wet and green now, and that’s true, but it’s all going to be fuel when it becomes dry enough to burn,” said Battalion Chief Christie Neill, who focuses on wildfire protection and vegetation management. “Green material will burn … it just has to get heated to a point at which all the moisture dries off. If we get windy days, that will accelerate the drying.”

No matter how wet a winter is, light and medium fire fuels such as grass and brush always dry out in California, said Deputy Chief Mark Brown. “During the summer, the vast majority of homes destroyed by vegetation fires in Marin are caused by wildland fires burning primarily in grass and brush,” he said.

There have been many severe wildfires in Marin’s history, the most recent in 1995 when 12,354 acres and 45 structures burned during the Vision Fire in Inverness. Although there were no deaths or major injuries in that blaze, 422 people had to be evacuated and dozens of families were rendered homeless. The largest wildfire in Marin history was in 1929 when 40,000 acres burned between Lucas Valley and Bolinas.

For more information: 

  •  Defensible space inspections by returning seasonal Marin County Fire Department firefighters. Call your local fire station for details.
  •  An updated list of fire-resistant plants on firesafemarin.org.

Watch this clip for an overview of the Marin County Fire Department.

Contacts: 
Jason Weber, CHIEF, Marin County Fire Department, 33 Castle Rock Ave., Woodacre, CA 94973
415 473 6717 office
415 717 1500 cell
CRS Dial 711
jweber@marincounty.org

Mark Brown, DEPUTY CHIEF, Marin County Fire Department, 33 Castle Rock Ave.,Woodacre, CA 94973
415 473 6717 office
415 717 1501 cell
CRS Dial 711
mbrown@marincounty.org