The West Plainfield Fire Protection District has adopted the following guidelines to provide minimum protection in the event of a fire.
It is your responsibility, as a resident/occupant, to maintain a defensible space around the subject property, including all buildings/structures located thereon, by removal of combustible materials that may pose a danger in the event of a fire on the subject property or from adjacent property.
1. Maintain a defensible space 50 feet around any structure, including barns, sheds and storage buildings. A defensible space means the removal of dry grasses, brush, rubbish, dead limbs and other non- regulated vegetation growth.
2. Trim tree limbs at least 4 feet above ground to prevent fire igniting the trees, especially conifer and eucalyptus trees. Clear fallen leaves, bark and branches.
3. Clear weeds a minimum of 10 feet back from frontage roads, including roadside ditches. This area is often the fire origin due to ignition by smoking materials or faulty equipment.
4. If vacant property is less than five acres, disk or mow all non-regulated vegetation growth. If property is greater than five acres, a fire break of 20 feet wide must be maintained on all sides by disking or clearing the ground.
5. Remove tree limbs within 10 feet of the outlet of a chimney or stovepipe. Chimneys and stovepipes must have a spark guard screen in place. Remove dead leaves and branches from roof.
6. When operating mowers or tractors, spark arrest mufflers must be installed. Maintain an emergency water supply to extinguish any fire that might result from abatement operations.
7. Remove all vegetation at least 10 feet on all sides of any fuel storage container, including propane tanks. Make sure all flammable liquid containers are marked with a visible warning label.
These guidelines have been adopted for your protection as well the protection of neighboring properties. Inspections will begin during the month of April, followed by abatement notice of non-compliance, if so required. Non-compliance may require that the West Plainfield Fire Protection District employ a contractor to remove the vegetation or rubbish at your expense.
It is our desire to provide as much protection of your home and property as we can, but your cooperation is needed. Without proper defensible space, the fire department, primarily a volunteer agency, may not be able to provide maximum effort during the critical period needed to save structures and property.
Reference: California Health and Safety Code (H&S Code) §§ 13879 and 14875, et seq. “… vegetation growing upon streets, sidewalks, or private property in any county, including any fire protection district …: (a) vegetation that bears seeds of a downy or wingy nature, (b) vegetation that is not pruned or is otherwise neglected so as to attain such large growth as to become, when dry, a fire menace to adjacent improved property, (c) vegetation that is otherwise noxious or dangerous, (d) poison oak and poison ivy when the conditions of growth are such as to constitute a menace to the public health, (e) dry grass, stubble, brush, litter, or other flammable material which endangers the public safety by creating a fire hazard in an urbanized portion of an unincorporated area which has been zoned for single and multiple residence purposes.”