Fire Department Urges Resident to Cut Back Vegetation

Photo courtesy San Marino Fire Department

In an ongoing effort to reduce the risk of wildfires in San Marino, the city’s Fire
Department kicked off its annual brush inspections. The program aims to safeguard
homes by minimizing potentially hazardous vegetation and creating defensible space
around homes to give firefighters a chance to save them in the event of a fire.

On May 15, property owners in the city’s designated “Very High Fire Hazard Severity
Zone” were mailed a notice along with a checklist informing them that they will be
required to clear overgrown vegetation and brush from around their homes. The
checklist includes the requirements for removing all dead trees and branches and
keeping native grasses and weeds mowed within 100 feet of any structure and 10 feet
from any roadway, as well as removing any portion of a tree within 10 feet of a chimney.
Fire Chief Mario Rueda emphasized the importance of this initiative.

“With the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires, it is crucial that we take
proactive steps to protect our city, your own property, and your neighbor’s property,” the
chief said. “By working together as a community, we can create a safer neighborhood
for everyone. The Wildland Fuel Management Program is a vital part of our strategy to
enhance public safety, ensure the safety of our residents, and preserve neighborhoods
and our natural habitat.”

Inspections will be conducted by firefighters beginning June 17 to ensure compliance.
Properties that do not meet the clearance standards will receive notices and may face
fines if corrective action is not taken promptly.

“The rains we’ve experienced this past year have led to a significant amount of
growth of vegetation,” Chief Rueda added. “While it is green and lush today, during
the late summer and fall when the weather is hot, dry and windy, that vegetation is a
great source of fuel.”

For questions or more information concerning San Marino’s Wildland Fuel Management
Program, call (626) 300-0735, or email Copies of the
defensible space checklist mailed to residents and other resources are available on the
city’s website at

First published in the June 6 issue of the San Marino Tribune