Community News

Wildfire Safety Action Plan Proposed

posted Thursday, May 03, 2018

Wildfire Safety Proposal before the LVHA Board

A wildfire safety proposal is before the LVHA Board with recommended actions that will affect all LVHA residents. Its purpose is to help residents reduce the wildfire risk to our community.

The entire LVHA community lies within the Wildland Urban Interface and is subject to regulations which include defensible space requirements to protect our homes. These requirements have evolved since our community was developed using building construction and landscaping choices that would not be permitted today. We cannot eliminate the risk of wildfire.We can significantly reduce its potential impact to our community through recommended practices in landscape design, structural improvements and vegetation management.

A Wildfire Safety Policy proposed for LVHA Board adoption May 16th would:

  • Affirm LVHA support for existing and future regulations governing wildfire risk in the community
  • Adopt a defensible space guideline extending 150 ft. from the residence structure (FIRESafe MARIN recommends maintenance of 100 to 200 ft. of defensible space)
  • Apply existing assessment and lien provisions of LVHA governing documents should a member fail to maintain defensible space

The LVHA Board has supported pursuit of the Firewise USA Site certification for the LVHA community. Benefits of Firewise certification include:

  • Community education assistance
  • Access to grant funding which may include FIRESafe MARIN project grants and chipper day support
  • More favorable consideration from homeowners insurers that may otherwise limit their participation in wildfire urban interface communities; (USAA offers a 10% homeowners insurance discount at first renewal following Firewise certification)

A Firewise committee has completed a Community Risk Assessment with Marinwood Fire Dept. and guidance from Marin County Fire and FIRESafe MARIN, and a Wildfire Safety Action Plan based on the risk assessment. Both are prerequisites for the application for Firewise certification. The action plan includes:

  • Community education and notification
  • Architectural Review Committee participation
  • Evaluation and communication of wildfire hazards in each neighborhood to residents
  • Collaboration with neighboring communities and responsible County agencies

Some of the most obvious actions include:

  • Removal of invasive plants (bamboo, pampas grass, star thistle), deadwood accumulations, and dead vegetation along Miller Creek
  • Maintenance of fire breaks along the hills adjoining CSA 13 property
  • Removal of debris and fire prone plants along major drainage areas: Rubicon Ct./Mt. Burney Ct; Mt. Foraker Dr./Mt. Shasta Dr.; Mt. Shasta Dr./Pikes Peak Dr.

The most important action is for all residents to adopt fire safe practices, including creating and maintaining defensible space around our homes. Wildfire in the wildlands surrounding our community can bring burning embers and firebrands from a mile away. The closely spaced wood frame houses in our community contain the heaviest fuel load and structure fires pose the greatest risk of catastrophic fire spread. Defensible space is the best means of reducing this risk.

Wildfire FAQs respond to questions raised in three community discussions held in March and April, and will be expanded as the dialogue continues.

Achieving these objectives will require an ongoing, multi-year effort.  Please prepare to do your part, and provide your input to our Board members. 

Please view the Documents section of the Emergency Response Committee page to view these documents:

LVHA Firewise Risk Assessment 4-292018

LVHA Wildfire Safety Action Plan

LVHA Wildfire Safety Policy

Wildfire FAQs