Weed Abatement

WEED ABATEMENT PROGRAM

The goal of the weed abatement program is to reduce the number and size of vegetation fires in areas protected by the Vallejo Fire Department.

The following types of lots/parcels are inspected:

1. Vacant lots within the City limits
2. Vacant lots in Solano County protected by the East Vallejo Fire Protection District (EVFPD).
3. Lots with structures in Solano County protected by the East Vallejo Fire Protection District (EVFPD)

Property owners of parcels fitting the specifications above are sent annual notifications advising the property owners of the hazard and the need to abate them. Specific lot sizes that fall within this scope are listed in the guideline below.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Vallejo Fire Department at 707-648-4049.

WEED ABATEMENT GUIDELINES

SCOPE
The guideline is necessary to provide fire control points and to create or maintain a defensible space around buildings and property lines. Creating defensible space will help minimize fire damage and provide a fuel break where firefighters can defend against fire.

CODES AND STANDARDS
Weeds, grass, vines and other growth that are capable of endangering property shall be cut down and removed by the owner or occupant of the premises.
Vegetation clearance requirements in the Wildland-Urban Interface Areas shall be in accordance with the California Fire Code and local ordinances.

GENERAL GUIDELINES
For properties with annual abatement requirements, a letter will be sent instructing the property owner on how to abate these fire hazards.

ABATEMENT CRITERIA

Parcels -

  • Parcels up to five (5) acres must have all combustible growth cut or removed
  • Parcels over five (5) acres shall maintain a minimum disked perimeter (minimum 30-feet wide) around the property, turning the soil in such a way as to bury all vegetation
  • Larger parcels may require additional fuel breaks to divide the property into smaller areas that would separate large amounts of fuel

Defensible Space
Defensible space must be 30 - 100 feet wide, cut one inch off the ground (depending on grade and other factors) around all structures, either man-made or natural, where material is capable of allowing fire to spread unchecked. The vegetation must be cleared, treated, or modified to slow the rate and intensity of an approaching fire.

Please see the Figure I illustration at the end of this document for more information on vegetation clearances.

Roadways, driveways and Fire Department access roads
Roads or driveways shall be cleared of combustible vegetation equal to the width of the road plus ten feet (10') on both sides. The property owner must also mitigate any additional fire hazard(s) that are determined by the City's Fire Chief.

Mowing
Mowing is acceptable where disking is impractical or inappropriate. These areas would include, but are not limited to, biologically sensitive areas or habitats.

When mowing with a tractor is sometimes impractical due to terrain, mowing with a handheld weed-eater is acceptable and referred to as "handwork". In some cases, use of goats and sheep are acceptable abatement practices.

If you are unclear on the appropriate method to abate, contact the Weed Abatement Officer at 707-648-4049 for guidance.

Endangered/Threatened Plants and Wildlife
Property owners that discover the existence of rare, threatened or endangered plants or wildlife on a noticed property must notify the Department of Fish and Wildlife (or appropriate agency) at least ten (10) days in advance of undertaking the vegetation clearance. If the landowner is aware of any State or Federally-listed species on the property, then the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Fish and Wildlife should be notified prior to the abatement. If a State or Federal candidate or listed species is killed, injured or captured, the landowner shall report this information to the Department of Fish and Wildlife or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, respectfully.

SAFETY REMINDER
Mowing weeds must be completed safely; one small spark from a mower blade hitting a rock can result in a large fire. All mowing should be completed as early in the morning as possible, while temperatures are low, humidity is high, and grasses are still damp with dew. When mowing, always have a water fire extinguisher or other source and pointed shovel handy. Mow early and often.

Figure 1-Defensible Space Zones

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