The City of Santa Rosa Fire Department (SRFD) has officially declared the end of the 2022 wildfire season in Santa Rosa, CA. While conditions around the region and state vary, locally, Santa Rosa has received enough beneficial rainfall, with more forecasted this week, to significantly reduce the threat of fires in the community. SRFD first announced the start of Santa Rosa’s 2022 wildfire season on June 6.
Wildfires can happen at any time, so residents should remain prepared in general, but the risk of a damaging fire is low at this time of the year locally. During the off-season, SRFD encourages residents, especially those who live within or around the City’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area, to prepare properties in anticipation of an active wildfire season next year due to ongoing drought conditions. Proactive efforts can significantly help reduce the spread of wildfires locally. It is critical for residents to maintain defensible space around homes by addressing new vegetation growth, including brush and tree limbs.
“The Santa Rosa Fire Department responded to dozens of vegetation fires this year,” said Santa Rosa Fire Chief Scott Westrope. “The containment of several of the fires was aided by the proactive steps property owners continue to take by maintaining defensible space and keeping seasonal grasses cut, in compliance with our Weed Abatement Ordinance. Those measures prevented significant property damage. It's encouraging to see how far our community has come since the 2017 wildfires and that these preventative measures are truly helping to make Santa Rosa Wildfire Ready.”
Weed Abatement Inspections Suspended
With the end of wildfire season declared, the Santa Rosa Fire Department will suspend annual weed abatement inspections effective today, Nov. 7, 2022. During wildfire season, property owners are required to keep weeds and seasonal grasses cut down to four inches in height and maintain this practice throughout the declared season. Properties that are required to take this measure include those within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), on all vacant lots across Santa Rosa (including those in fire rebuilding areas), and developed properties with more than a half-acre of unimproved land.
Pile Burning Permits in the City of Santa Rosa
The Santa Rosa Fire Department anticipates that pile burning will be permissible starting in late November in permitted locations within the City of Santa Rosa. The department will continue to monitor conditions locally and coordinate any pile-burning-related efforts with regional partners when making the official decision on when to begin issuing those permits. In March 2021, the Santa Rosa City Council approved an ordinance allowing property owners to burn vegetative debris piles as a limited method to reduce the threat of wildfires. Under appropriate weather conditions, this type of pile burning can rapidly eliminate vegetative debris after it is cut and piled. Before proceeding with any pile-burning work, a permit must be obtained through the SRFD.
Visit srcity.org/WildfireReady for additional information on pile burning and what preparedness measures are recommended for property owners before the next wildfire season.