Tag Archives: brush

Defensible space inspections help keep homeowners safe in San Marcos

Defensible space inspections help keep homeowners safe in San Marcos

San Marcos, CA –In the last year, the San Marcos Fire Department (SMFD) conducted nearly 830 defensible space inspections of properties located in the city’s highest wildfire risk areas, as determined by the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

Photo caption: San Marcos Fire Inspector Randy Hill conducts a defensible space audit on a home in a high fire risk area.  

Since January, the San Marcos Fire Department has sent notices to 250 properties asking owners to remove dead and overgrown vegetation and maintain the required 150 feet around a home to help reduce or slow the spread of wildfire.

“San Marcos is no stranger to wildfire and it is up to all of us to help keep ourselves, our property and the community safe,” said Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

During the defensible space audits, recommendations on how to improve or maintain defensible space are provided to the homeowner using a checklist and photos based on an inspection of the property.  If a homeowner is not home or cannot participate in the inspection while fire department personnel are on site, a copy of the report will be mailed to the owner.

Free of charge, homeowners do not need to be present as inspectors are able to assess defensible space requirements from the street or an adjacent property. Inspections are conducted only by uniformed fire department personnel to help educate homeowners on opportunities to minimize risk of wildfire.

“Creating defensible space is critical for a home’s chance of surviving a wildfire and reduces risk to our firefighters responding,” continued VanWey.


Photo Caption: Defensible space saved this home during the May 2014 Cocos Fire.

In addition to local inspections, CALFIRE will coordinate inspections with SMFD for residents living in the State Responsibility Area. CALFIRE’s main goal will be to educate homeowners and evaluate properties to ensure owners maintain the required defensible space – 100 feet for homes built prior to 2005 and 150 feet for homes built after 2005.

Homeowners can use the following tips to help homes survive a wildfire:

  • Maintain 150-feet of defensible space around all structures (100 feet for homes built prior to 2005).
  • Clear all needles and leaves from roofs, eaves and rain gutters.
  • Trim tree branches 6 feet from the ground.
  • Use trimming, mowing and power equipment before 10 a.m.
  • Landscape with fire resistant and drought tolerant plants that require little water.
  • Remove branches away from roofs and 10 feet from the chimney.
  • Keep wood piles and flammable materials at least 30 feet from the home.
  • Use fire ignition resistant building material.

For more emergency preparedness information, visit www.san-marcos.net/beprepared or call the San Marcos Fire Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

Small Brush fire just east of Venzano in San Elijo Hills

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A bottle rocket started a brush fire Saturday evening 11.14.09. The brush fire burned a 1/4 acre and was quickly was extinguished by CalFire.. The fire was located in the county of San Deigo; just north of Questhaven road and east of the Venzano neighborhood in a brush field. This is the second brush fire in  a 1/2 mile radius, the last fire was August 27th 2009.

Click here to read a NC TIMES article..note this is not Harmony Grove area as reported by NC Times

SEH911 on Twitter and the web is a great new tool for San Elijo Hills residents to stay updated.

Brush Fire south of Questhaven Road adjacent to San Elijo Hills

Photo Jonathan Wadley

Photo Jonathan Wadley

A small brush fire started Thursday night at 9:15 p.m. south of Questhaven road just east of San Elijo Hills. The fire is 100% extinguished and burned less then a 1/2 acre of San Diego County owned brush land. The parcel is located south of Venzano and adjacent to Cambria neighborhoods in San Elijo Hills.

San Marcos, Elfin Forest and Cal Fire responded and should be thanked for a quick response. Favorable winds conditions assisted the fire teams. San Elijo Hills residents reported something in the air, potentially a homemade mini hot air balloon.

Click here for more photos

Video of fire location

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Looking North at Fire Location