Weed Abatement Requirements/Liabilities
Dried tall grasses, weeds, and other growth pose a serious fire threat in our community. California Fire Code (CFC) Section 304.1.2 states:
“Weeds, grass, vines, or other growth that is capable of being ignited and endangering property shall be cut down and removed by the owner or occupant of the premises.”
In compliance with the CFC, Central Fire Authority requires that all vegetation that poses a fire threat be cleared to the standard set forth for properties within the local responsibility areas (LRA) that fall within its jurisdiction.
Central Fire also has authority over those areas that fall within the State responsibility areas (SRA). (If you are unsure of which area you’re in, click here for map. If you live in a dark gray area, you are in the LRA. If you live in a light gray or pink area, you are in the SRA.)
In the LRA, you are required to clear combustible material at least 30 feet from any structure, which includes fences. Central Fire Weed Abatement Standards.
In the SRA, the law requires you have 100 feet of defensible space, at least 30 feet from the house and 70 feet to the fence or property line. For detailed information/requirements, click here. [http://www.readyforwildfire.org/defensible_space].
Fire departments respond every year to grass fires resulting from mowing. It is imperative mowing is done safely. Mow only in the early morning while vegetation is damp: high humidity and low temperatures.
Property owners who do not clear their property in accordance with legal requirements face significant financial liability. They are responsible for:
- All damage to the person and/or property of others as a result of a fire that starts in the uncleared areas
- Total cost incurred by any/all emergency responders dispatched to put the fire out and provide medical and/or law enforcement assistance
- Within the Town of Windsor, a citation may be issued that carries with it a fine of up to $500 per day the dangerous condition is not abated (up to a maximum $100,000REPORTING DANGEROUS WEEDS/DRY GRASSES
- You may click here to report properties with dangerous dry weeds/grasses or call (707) 838-1170. Please be prepared to provide the address of the property, your name and phone number (your confidentially is assured), and any other information you deem important.
It is important to understand we cannot enter onto private property to look at weeds. Also our authority extends only to fire danger: we cannot address appearance e.g., the neighbor’s ugly front yard.