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Do This If You Got A Notice Of Non-Compliance From A Fire Department In California

Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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Fire departments in California are cracking down on overgrown properties to reduce the likelihood of another firestorm like what occurred in 1991 when nearly 3,000 homes were destroyed in Oakland's Tunnel Fire. Living in a high-fire-risk area comes with a responsibility to keep your property reasonably clear of flammable brush, weeds, and low branches. But sometimes, even responsible homeowners get a notice of non-compliance from the fire department. If you do receive a non-compliance notice, you need to take action as soon as possible to avoid any fines. Most of the time clearing can be performed on your own, but remember gas-powered trimmers and blowers are prohibited in Oakland, California. To ensure your property is in compliance with local ordinances, you should hire a professional fire abatement and land cleanup company.

Take action immediately when you receive a non-compliance notice.

Land with brush covered field in Moraga, CA.
If you receive a non-compliance notice from a fire department, you'll want to take action immediately to ensure your property is fire-safe and to avoid being fined. Here are four actions you should take if you receive a non-compliance notice:

Create a defensible space - Ensure a minimum 30-foot zone around your home is cleared. Be sure to clear all weeds, brush, and vines to a height of 6 inches or less -- including any regrowth. If possible, increase this to 100 feet behind your home.
Eliminate any fire ladders - Limb up any low branches to 6 feet or 1/4 the height of the tree. This prevents a grass fire from spreading into trees, which helps firefighters quickly extinguish the blaze before a fire reaches your home. You should also prune branches away from your home and chimney.
Clear near roadsides - Any roadsides along your property should be clear of weeds and brush. This is often cited by the fire department and is necessary to clear to ensure fire crews have access during a fire and to make sure you have a safe evacuation route. Fires also can start along roadsides due to vehicle fires or other human-caused activity, so having a cleared roadside can prevent such a fire from spreading.
Send photos after you clear your property - This is a critical step to avoid a fine or re-inspection fee from the fire department. In Oakland, send before/after photos within 45 days to:
wildfireprevention@oaklandca.gov.

The use of gas-powered trimmers and blowers is prohibited in Oakland, California.

Weed clearing of property with electric string trimmer in Lafayette, CA.
In most cases, clearing can be performed on your own if you have the right tools. However, you need to keep in mind that Oakland, California has an ordinance in place that prohibits the use of gas-powered trimmers and blowers, and that ordinance goes for both homeowners and professional companies. The ordinance was passed in 2020 and penalties went into effect in 2021, with fines of up to $1,000 per violation.

You can get fined if you hire a company that uses gas-powered trimmers or blowers, even if you're not operating it yourself.

Professionals can ensure your property is in full compliance with the fire department.

To ensure that your property is fire-safe and in compliance with the fire department, you should hire professionals to perform fire abatement services. Professionals save you the time of trying to clear your property yourself and can do it efficiently, ensuring that you are in full compliance with the fire department so you won't be at risk of receiving any fines.

Give us a call to schedule our fire abatement and land cleanup services.

At Oakland Hills Brush Clearing, we offer a variety of fire abatement and land cleanup services that will keep your property fire-safe and in compliance with any local ordinances. What's more, we guarantee our work will pass a fire inspection! We offer our services to residential, HOA, and commercial properties in Oakland, Orinda, Lafayette, CA, and surrounding areas. Call (510) 339-9991 to schedule our fire abatement and land cleanup services today!

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