Marin County

Crews May Start Burning Vegetation to reduce Wildfire Fuel in Marin County

Burns are planned for three locations in Novato, one in Mill Valley, one in Fairfax, and on a ridge between Terra Linda and Sleepy Hollow.

Work crews may start burning piles of vegetation around Marin County on Wednesday to reduce the fuel for wildfires, county officials said Tuesday.

Officials from Marin County Parks and the Marin County Fire Department are working with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to determine the best time to do the burning.

Recent weather, including morning inversion layers have prevented workers from igniting the plant material. "We do our best to get the word out in advance, so people aren't alarmed about a wildfire and begin to inundate our 9-1-1 dispatchers with emergency calls," said Jim Chayka, parks' superintendent, in a statement.

"Burn piles are a reliable method to dispose of vegetative material safely and efficiently." Nate Clark, parks' biodiversity and fuels management coordinator, said, "We are given about 24 hours of notice before we can burn. When we get the go-ahead, we plan to use social media to let people know in areas close to the burning so they are aware of what we're doing."

Neighbors will be able to find information on Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, county officials said.

Once the burning starts, residents can expect to see smoke from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Burns are planned for three locations in Novato, one in Mill Valley, one in Fairfax, and on a ridge between Terra Linda and Sleepy Hollow.

Timing and order for the burns may change, according to county officials.

Getting ready for the burns involves cutting and piling up vegetation from areas where staging a chipper is too dangerous or the place is too remote. When the conditions are optimal, the burning starts.

Funding for the work comes from a quarter-cent retail sales tax implemented with the passage in 2012 of Marin County Parks and Open Space Measure A.

Measure A supports parks and open space and programs in the county as well as farmland preservation and land acquisition.

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