More than 260,000 people live in Marin County, served by cities, towns, the County of Marin, and well-coordinated fire agencies. Marin’s wildlands and lush vegetation make our neighborhoods beautiful and desirable places to live, but also leave residents and visitors vulnerable to wildfire. Local fire agencies and communities must coordinate wildfire prevention and disaster preparedness, including maintaining defensible space, reducing combustible vegetation, making homes fire resistant, and planning for organized evacuation in an emergency. Individual homes and properties are more fire resilient when preparedness is approached at the community scale. A collective effort by all citizens and property owners is necessary to build a resilient community and reduce the threat of wildfire to life, property, and infrastructure.
A Wildfire Prevention Effort to Reduce Marin’s Fire Risk
Wildfires are bigger, burn longer, cause more damage, and kill more people than ever before. This new reality requires greatly expanding prevention, preparedness, and fuel-reduction efforts throughout Marin. The Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) is a coalition of local fire agencies, emergency service providers, and cities, towns, and county government being formed to support the development and implementation of a comprehensive wildfire prevention and emergency preparedness initiative.
MWPA Initiative — measure C
Key elements of this initiative include:
Improving emergency alert and warning systems to enhance early alert for organized evacuations
Expanding coordinated efforts to reduce combustible plants and vegetation
Improving evacuation routes and infrastructure to enhance traffic flow and promote safe evacuations
Expanding and enhancing defensible space and home evaluations and educating homeowners about how to reduce the vulnerability of their home and neighborhood to wildfire
Providing grants and support to seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income homeowners who need assistance maintaining a defensible space, making homes fire resistant, reducing combustible vegetation, and preparing for emergencies
Creating and sustaining a coordinated local wildfire public safety and disaster preparedness program
Supporting residents to establish Firewise USA programs in neighborhoods through ongoing public education
Bringing a Local Wildfire Prevention Initiative to Reality
Marin’s fire agencies, cities, towns, and county government are currently working to form the MWPA and develop a coordinated program for wildfire prevention.
To be successful, a stable source of locally-controlled funding dedicated to wildfire prevention and public safety is required.
Measure C, a parcel tax measure, will be on the March 2020 election to provide dedicated funding for the MWPA program.
The following agencies and districts have joined the MWPA:
County of Marin
Sleepy Hollow Fire District
Stinson Beach Fire District
Muir Beach CSD
Town of Fairfax
Novato Fire Protection District
City of Larkspur
Town of San Anselmo
Southern Marin Fire District
Town of Ross
Town of Corte Madera
Kentfield Fire District
City of San Rafael
City of Mill Valley
Inverness Public Utility District
Bolinas Fire District