East Contra Costa Fire Has Received 186 Complaints for Weed Abatement

3

With several vegetation fires over the past few weeks after an education campaign to encourage proper weed abatement and fire breaks, the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District confirmed Wednesday they have received 186 complaints since June 1.

Steve Aubert, Fire Marshal, said of the 186 complaints, they took 5 to the board for approval to abate and have another 30 going through the notification process right now which could be taken into the August meeting for abatement.

A few of the larger fires recently include:

  • May 30: 60-acre fire at Marsh Creek Road at Round Valley
  • June 7: 3-acre fire at Holland Tract Road
  • June 17: 9-acre fire at Vasco & Marsh Creek
  • June 19: 7-acre fire at Vasco Caves and Los Vaqueros Reservoir
  • June 26: 15-acre fire at Balfour & Deer Valley
  • July 3-4: 100-acre fire at Holland Tract
  • July 6: 16-acre fire at Vasco Road & Camino Diablo
  • July 7: 50-acre fire at E Cypress & Summerlake

According to Aubert, Tuesday’s 50-acre fire in Oakley was properly abated.

“The property was properly abated since over 5 acres they had perimeter fuel breaks and cross breaks, but with the wind the embers where able to catch the vegetation on fire and continued to be pushed,” explained Aubert.  “The levee had not been abated yet which was what the reclamation district was attempting to do yesterday.  I have already spoken to them about having a water truck on scene to extinguish any small spot fires as a result of their abatement.”

In May, the District asked the residents to help the District by destroying weeds and abate flammable vegetation and rubbish.

“We are asking our property owners to help us protect the community. Abate now so you do not end up on our inspection list in June and if you need more information, all resources are available on our website,” said Aubert.

For filing complaints, please download their App to easily report properties still in need of abatement.  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.govoutreach.ecccfpd

The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District covers the City of Brentwood, City of Oakley, Town of Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Byron, Knightsen, and Marsh Creek area.

Minimum Abatement Standards

320.3.2.1, Parcels Five Acres or Less in Size.  All weeds must be maintained at a height of no more than 3 inches.  Weeds and grasses must be mowed, with material mulched and scattered or raked and bagged, and removed from the parcel, or disked (see Section 321.4.2.10).  All combustible rubbish or debris, including but not limited to: cardboard boxes, pallets, trash, wood rounds/chunks, rubble, etc., must be removed from the parcel. Parcels may require additional abatement during the season due to the regrowth of weeds and other flammable vegetation.

320.3.2.2, Parcels Greater than Five Acres in Size.  All parcels greater than five acres in size must have 30-foot fuelbreaks and 15-foot crossbreaks (see Sections 321.3.2.8 and 321.3.2.9). Crossbreaks should divide the parcel into approximately 5-acre sections.  Fence lines may require hand mowing/weed eating to ensure completion of fuelbreak.  When terrain is too steep or rugged for a tractor, a hand mowed fuelbreak may be required.  All cut material should be mulched and scattered or raked, bagged and removed from parcel.

320.3.2.3, Fuelbreaks Along Roadways.  Fuelbreaks along roadways are required as part of the property line.  Road right-of-ways shall be cleared to a minimum of 10 feet horizontally from the edge of driving surface and 13 feet 6 inches vertically.

320.3.2.4, Active Pastureland.  Active pastureland shall be provided with 15-foot wide fuelbreaks and crossbreaks if a sufficient number of animals are present to steadily reduce height of grasses during the summer months to 3 inches or less by the end of August, irrespective of parcel size. If this requirement cannot be met, 30-foot fuelbreaks and crossbreaks shall be required.

320.3.2.5, Active Cropland.  Active cropland shall be provided with 15-foot fuelbreaks or crossbreaks if the crop is to be harvested by mid-June. If there is to be a later harvest, 30-foot fuelbreaks shall be required.

320.3.2.6, Orchards.  Orchards are to be maintained by complete abatement, including grasses under tree branches (see Section 321.3.2.7). This may require pruning of lower branches to allow equipment access.

320.3.2.7, Tree Litter.  Tree litter (eucalyptus leaves and bark, coniferous needles, leaves, fallen branches, etc.) shall be removed from the base of trees, tree stems, and limbs within 10 feet of the ground and maintained throughout the fire season.

320.3.2.8, 30-Foot Fuelbreaks.  30-foot fuelbreaks, where required, shall be provided around all structures, combustible storage, trees, shrubs and brush, along ridgelines, fence lines, ditches, and along the sides of, but not in, creeks. Fuelbreaks and crossbreaks are a continuous strip of disked or dozed ground following as closely as possible to the property line, and along one side of all fence lines, ditches, and on top of all ridgelines. Remove from the property all debris, rubble, junk, piles of dirt, etc., which would obstruct or impede vehicles and/or equipment used for abatement work or fire suppression operations.

320.3.2.9, Mowed Fuelbreaks.  Mowed fuelbreaks shall be 60 feet wide and mowed crossbreaks 30 feet wide due to ability of the remaining surface material to support a fire growth.

320.3.2.10, Disking Quality.  All disking work, including fuelbreaks, shall be completed so that all weeds, grasses, crops and other vegetation or organic material, which could be expected to burn, shall be completely turned under to the point that there is not sufficient exposed fuel to maintain or allow the spread of fire

3 COMMENTS

  1. Do Not Forget the biggest weed abatement ignorer…..Contra Costa County! The roadside fires could be less if Contra Costa County would abate it’s own property. They should be held responsible for some of these fires that become huge due to lack of weed abatement on roadsides.

Comments are closed.