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Frequently Asked Questions
· Does a 30-ft. clearance include removing ornamental plants and trees?
No, the trees and the plants within the 30 feet must be maintained and limbed.
· What if the citizen only has a 20-foot area around his/her house?
Clear to the property line.
· What is the largest size tree or branch that can be cut without a permit?
Four (4) inches in diameter.
· I do not use my fireplace, why do I need a spark arrester?
Yes. All fireplaces must have a spark arrester as defined in the Uniform Fire Code.
· Why should I have my address clearly visible?
For safety of you and your family; clearly visible addresses save time in finding you in emergencies.
· What does roadside clearance mean, and where is it?
Roadside means the area from the finished road toward your home or property.
· What does limb-up mean, and does it have to be to 6 ft?
Limb-up means to remove branches at least 6 feet off the ground. That way, sparks or fire on the ground is much less likely to be able to climb up the tree and spread.
· What can I do if it’s my neighbor’s tree that is overhanging my chimney?
Seek permission from neighboring owner to cut tree back, or file a complaint with the Vegetation Management Unit hotline at (510) 238-7388.
· Why do I have to maintain my property year round?
Fire never takes a break, your property can burn at any time of the year.
· Why was my property the only property cited on my block?
All properties are inspected annually, and at the time of inspection, your property was out of compliance.
· What if my neighbor hasn't complied?
You may call the Vegetation Management hotline at (510) 238-7388, to file a complaint.
· Why do I have to cut back my groundcover?
All ground cover should be watered regularly and should not exceed 6" in height. If it is green and maintained, and is a “fire-friendly” variety, it may not need to be cleared.
· I have blackberry bushes and everyone loves them, why do I have to cut them?
Blackberry bushes regardless of height, should be watered, and groomed regularly.