News From Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District
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Help! I Received a Defensible Space Notice and don't know what to do!


Did you receive a NOTICE OF DEFENSIBLE SPACE INSPECTION?  If you received a notice, you may have questions about the meaning of the different requirements and specific hazards noted.  Use the list below and click on an item to learn more about specific violations and requirements.

Juniper and Bamboo

Many Sleepy Hollow residents received notice asking for removal of juniper and bamboo.  California Fire Code section 4907.2 and 4907.3 state that pyrophytic, combustible vegetation must be removed within 30' (minimum, up to 150') of structures and 10' of roadways.  Juniper is among the most hazardous plants commonly found in landscaping in Sleepy Hollow, and is a pyrophytic species.  Bamboo, also considered pyrophytic, is highly combustible during the summer fire-season.  SHFPD asks that all Sleepy Hollow residents comply with the fire code and remove juniper and bamboo when within 30' of structures or 10' of roadways (minimum) to help protect your home, family, and community.  Please take advantage of our free chipper days to dispose of cut material (yes - we'll take juniper AND bamboo this year).  Those residents in the most hazardous locations may receive follow up notices if they fail to remove juniper.  If you need extra time or have any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Many suitable, fire-resistant replacement plants are listed at www.firesafemarin.org/plants.


Inspectors check boxes to indicate violations observed during inspections.  Please select any boxes that were checked on the Hazard Notice left at your home to learn more about how to correct the violation.

  1. Remove all branches within 10’ of any chimney or stovepipe outlet.
  2. Remove all leaves, needles and dead vegetation on roofs, gutters, decks, porches, stairways, etc.
  3. Remove all dead and dying trees, branches, shrubs, and plants adjacent to buildings or overhanging roofs.
  4. Remove all dead grass, plants, shrubs, trees, branches, leaves, weeds and needles within 30’ of structures.
  5. Remove or separate live combustible ground cover and shrubs within 30’ of structures.
  6. Remove combustible vegetation and materials, on, adjacent to, or below combustible decks, balconies, stairs.
  7. Relocate exposed firewood or lumber outside of zone 1 unless covered in a fire resistive material.
  8. Cut annual grasses and forbs (weeds) to a maximum of 4” in height.
  9. Provide separation between shrubs and trees, with increased separation on slopes.
  10. Cut and remove all pyrophytic combustible vegetation within 30’ of structures.
  11. Remove all piles of accumulated dead vegetation on the property.
  12. Remove tree limbs and growth less than 3” diameter to 10’ above ground (or 1/3 the tree's height).
  13. Vegetation clearance adjacent to roads and/or driveways must be maintained 10’ horizontally and 14’ vertically.
  14. Address numbers must be 4” minimum, displayed in contrasting colors, and readable from the street.
  15. Equip all chimney or stovepipe openings with a metal screen having openings between 3/8” and 1/2”.
  16. Logs or stumps embedded in soil must be removed or isolated from vegetation within 100' of structures.
  17. Outbuildings & Propane (LPG) tanks must have 10’ of clearance to bare mineral soil.
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