Because of the North County Fire Protection District's rural landscaping, every year local residents are faced with the task of removing excessive weeds from their property. And, every year, local residents are faced with neighbors who have failed to remove the excessive weeks from their property. To assist our citizens, we have compiled the following information regarding weed abatement minimum standards, burn season time frames and requirements, fire district authority, and property owner responsibility.
California Fire Code Authority: Any parcel which is determined by the Fire Chief or his representative to be a fire hazard as defined by the California Fire Code (CFC) 2010 Edition.
Minimum Standards for Residential Properties
- Parcel fronting on a public street or alley shall be abated to the edge of the public street or alley. (Yes, this is your property and your responsibility).
- Trees shall be limbed no less than 6 feet from ground level within 30 feet of buildings.
- Brush and combustible vegetation (excluding landscaping) must be cleared 100 feet around all buildings.
- Remove that portion of any tree extending within 10 feet of the chimney outlet.
- Maintain any tree adjacent to or overhanging any building free of dead wood.
- Maintain by removing all debris, leaves, needles, or other dead vegetative growth from roof structures and rain gutters.
- Remove any/all flammable dead debris from underneath/around all bushes, plants, and/or landscaping structures including stairs, decks, patios, carports, etc.
- Post address in visible area in numbers not less than 3" high, 3/8" wide and in a contrasting color. If your address cannot be seen from the roadway and/or if your driveway serves multiple residences, post your address (same specifications above) on a 4' post at the driveway entrance so that it is visible from both ways of travel.
- Maintain driveway access clear 12 feet wide and 15 feet high.
Minimum Standards of Large Lots or Unimproved Properties
- The parcel shall be cleared to grade of all combustible weeds and debris. EXCEPTION: When cutting is used as the method of abatement, the remaining stubble shall not exceed 2 inches in height.
- Dry pastures (fenced land used for the purpose of grazing livestock) and dry croplands (land used to produce grain or hay) shall have a firebreak around the entire perimeter of the parcel.
- Firebreaks shall be no less than 16 feet minimum width and completely cleared of all combustible weeds, debris, hay and grain. NOTE: Combustible weeds and debris shall not be removed by burning. Firebreaks shall be tilled, disked, or scraped.
- Parcels which experience a "second growth" shall be re-cut, if it is determined to be a fire hazard.
ACCEPTABLE PROCEDURES The following list outlines the only acceptable procedures allowed for the abatement of fire hazards created by combustible weeds and/or debris:
CUTTING: Combustible weeds and debris may be cut manually and/or mechanically. Cut material shall be collected, removed, and properly disposed of. EXCEPTION: Cut material, which is finely mulched, does not have to be collected and removed.
ROTOTILLING OR DISCING: Combustible weeds and debris shall be turned under the soil.
SCRAPING: Combustible weeds and debris may be scraped manually and/or mechanically. The scraped material shall be collected, removed and properly disposed of.
CHEMICAL SPRAYING: Weeds may be sprayed to prevent growth. This is a preventative measure to be conducted prior to the weeds reaching maturity or drying out.
NOTE: Combustible weeds and debris shall not be removed by burning. Firebreaks shall be tilled, disked, or scraped.