Watch CBS News

Marin County Looking to Reduce Wildfire Fuel By Burning Vegetation

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) -- Marin County officials want to reduce fuel for wildfires and hope crews can begin burning piles of vegetation around Marin County on Wednesday.

Officials from Marin County Parks and the Marin County Fire Department are working with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to determine the best time to do the burning.

Recent weather, including morning inversion layers, have prevented workers from igniting the plant material.

"We do our best to get the word out in advance, so people aren't alarmed about a wildfire and begin to inundate our 9-1-1 dispatchers with emergency calls," Marin County Parks superintendent Jim Chayka said in a statement. "Burn piles are a reliable method to dispose of vegetative material safely and efficiently."

Nate Clark, Marin County Parks biodiversity and fuels management coordinator, said that the county is given "about 24 hours of notice before we can burn."

"When we get the go-ahead, we plan to use social media to let people know in areas close to the burning so they are aware of what we're doing," Clark said.

Neighbors will be able to find information on Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, county officials said.

Once the burning starts, residents can expect to see smoke from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

Burns are planned for three locations in Novato, one in Mill Valley, one in Fairfax, and on a ridge between Terra Linda and Sleepy Hollow. Timing and order for the burns may change, according to county officials.

Getting ready for the burns involves cutting and piling up vegetation from areas where staging a chipper is too dangerous or the place is too remote. When the conditions are optimal, the burning starts.

Funding for the work comes from a quarter-cent retail sales tax implemented with the passage in 2012 of Marin County Parks and Open Space Measure A. Measure A supports parks and open space and programs in the county as well as farmland preservation and land acquisition.

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.