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Tam Valley, like much of Southern Marin, is classified as a "very high risk" wildfire area. Wildfires of similar magnitude to the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, or the 1995 Mt. Vision fire in Inverness, are possible here. May 9 is the 10th anniversary of the 12-acre "Mother's Day" fire in the eucalyptus grove on GGNRA land in western Tam Valley.
TCSD and Southern Marin Fire District (SMFD) are taking steps to help Tam Valley residents understand the fire risk in their neighborhoods and to implement changes to reduce that risk. Specifically:
Most Tam Valley neighborhoods will get this Chipper Day service in late April or early May 2014. This service will be provided to any remaining neighborhoods later in the year. Residents in each neighborhood will receive a postcard in the mail at least two weeks prior, and it will include all the participation details. Acceptable materials are brush, tree trimmings less than 6 inches in diameter (any length accepted), but we will NOT accept vines like blackberry or poison oak.
In order to keep areas clear and to minimize fire risk, we encourage residents to not begin any significant work until you know the scheduled date for your street. Detailed information showing the dates, along with a map and list of streets will be posted on the TCSD website (www.tcsd.us).
The below article was written by Jim Irving, Fire Chief of the Southern Marin Fire Protection District and president of the Marin County Fire Chiefs Association and it was published in the Marin Independent Journal on November 16, 2013 on the Opinion page, Marin Voice section.
THE REASON many of us live in Marin County is the beauty and natural landscape that exists right outside our doors.
We shouldn't forget, though, that much of our surrounding beauty is fuel for a potentially devastating wildfire, one of the largest single risks we face of life and property loss. The fire service professionals in the county are challenged with protecting life, property and the environment, a job we take very seriously.
Southern Marin Fire (SMFD) firefighters participated in the 2013 Urban Shield on October 25-28. Urban Shield is a 48-hour training exercise that trains local, national, and international first responder agencies to prepare for and provide a unified response to disasters and major emergencies. Participant included three major cities (Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose) and ten counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma), and more than 100 incorporated cities.
SMFD had four personnel on three teams in the Urban Shield event, Swift Water Rescue Team 11, Marin County Regional Task Force Team #1 & the Marin County Hazardous Materials team. The Marin County Regional Task Force Team #1 won 2nd place overall in the event behind MinnesotaTask Force Team #1. The teams were evaluated on core competencies which are designed to test their abilities in differing situations that will require effective communication and development of incident action plans. The training encourages collaborative interaction with other specialized teams and disciplines, law enforcement and/or role players. Scenarios are designed to provide teams with events that are fast paced, dynamic and increasingly encountered by first responders in this era.
The Southern Marin Fire District congratulates all the teams and the four SMFD firefighters who participated on their successful participation in the training exercise.