Homeowners Association Defensible Space/Chipper Program

Example of a fuel reduction project

The goal of a defensible space Vegetation Management Program (VMP) is to create fire adaptive communities by reducing invasive, highly flammable vegetation that, when impacted by wildfire, might threaten structures or impede ingress and egress on evacuation routes. This project’s focus is primarily on mowing non-native grasses, removal of invasive, highly flammable plant species, and removal of dead and woody vegetation within Home Owner Association (HOA) common areas adjacent to homes. The removal of these invasive species will also help to restore the health of more fire adapted native plant communities. The community of Novato is home to approximately 80 HOAs located within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). Contract crews and/or existing landscaping companies will conduct work based on HOA wildfire assessments conducted by Novato Fire Department (NFD)’s Wildfire Mitigation Specialists. Each HOA will be encouraged to become a FireWise community and create a VMP as a key element of becoming a Fire Adaptive Community. A fire adapted community includes: home hardening, removing fire prone plants and creating fire resistant landscapes, and maintaining evacuation routes. No healthy, mature trees will be removed under this project. Trimmings and removed vegetation will be recycled through chipping or composting at regional facilities. Work will be performed at appropriate times of the year in order to reduce the potential for biological impacts.


Planning Phase

Approval Meeting


CEQA Documentation



Marin wild fire projects

Type Of Project

Shaded/ Non-shaded Fuel Break

Lead Agency

Novato Fire District
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