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News From Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District

Register Now for the July 14-15 Chipper Days! FREE Curbside Pick-Up!

Sleepy Hollow's June chipper days were our most successful ever.  Sleepy Hollow residents committed 1100 hours to help remove more than 2000 cubic yards of vegetation, reducing the fuels avaialble for wildfires and helping make ours a Firewise USA community!
We're coming around again next weekend to pick up hazardous vegetation at your curbside, July 14-15.  Online registration required!
All Sleepy Hollow residents are required by law to maintain Defensible Space at all times to reduce the risk of wildfire.  To help you dispose of hazardous vegetation, SHFPD holds multiple chipper days each year.  This year, in June and July, we're coming door-to-door to pick up LARGE PILES at your home (for small quantities, please continue to use your green cans).
July 14-15, 2018
Curbside Pick-Up
Time: 8AM-4PM
Location: At the curbside in front of your home.

Next Chipper Days - Mark Your Calendar!

July 14-15, 2018
Curbside Pick-Up
Time: 9AM-4PM
Location: At the curbside in front of your home.
Online registration required! Due to high demand, we can't promise whjich day we'll be by to pick up.
October 6, 2018 (to coincide with the creek clean up)
Time: 9AM-3PM
Location: End of Butterfield Rd.
No registration required


Please review the  booklet, “Living With Fire in Sleepy Hollow.”  All Sleepy Hollow residents received a printed copy by mail in May, and a PDF version is available for download here.  It contains valuable information regarding wildfire risk, defensible space, and firescaping.   Additional information on creating Defensible Space is available at www.firesafemarin.org. The law requires that all property owners remove the flammable vegetation on your property to create a defensible space of at least 100 feet (PRC 4291).

2. STACK MATERIAL at Curbside
  1. CHIPPER CREWS WILL DISPOSE OF UP TO 5 CUBIC YARDS OF CUT VEGETATION AT NO COST (APPROXIMATELY 4'X4'X8', STACKED).  Larger quantities are OK, but must be noted in your registration form.
  2. Limbs and branches, 1" to 6" diameter,  brush, woody material, broom are OK!  NO Grass, loose leaves, or soft plants (dispose of these in green cans, please).  The chipper can only dispose of limbs, branches, and woody material.
  3. Bamboo and Juniper are OK in 2018 - please note in registration form.
  4. No material should be greater than 6” in diameter.
  5. Stack material with the CUT ENDS FACING THE STREET!
  6. All vegetative material should be free of rocks, dirt and other foreign material that could damage the equipment. No lumber, fencing, or other materials may be chipped.
  7. Material must be fire hazardous vegetation and must originate in Sleepy Hollow.
  8. No lumber, metal, plastic, or other materials.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.shpfd.org

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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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Final "Living With Fire in Sleepy Hollow" Class this Wednesday - April 18, 6PM

The last of 3  “Living With Fire” classes will be held this Wednesday, April 18 at 6PM at the SHHA Community Center.  This class will be taught by FIRESafe MARIN Coordinator and wildfire expert Todd Lando, and Sleepy Hollow resident and retired firefighter Dan Dunnigan, and is specifically tailored to our community.  The class runs about 90 minutes, with an opportunity for discsussion and questions.  Don't miss this opportunity to learn how to protect your home and family from wildfire, and ask questions of wildfire experts about the state of preparedness after the 2017 North Bay wildfires.

Topics will include:

Risks and Hazards: Learn about the history of fire in Sleepy Hollow and our unique risks and hazards. What lessons can be learned from the fires in Napa/Sonoma?

Evacuation: What are the emergency warning systems? When and where do we go? What are the evacuation routes? What do we bring? How do we prepare – “The Ready, Set, Go Program.” Get involved in our Summer Evacuation Exercise and Safety Fair.

Vegetation Management: What is the WUI? What is the Ember Zone? Protecting the Hollow: find out about our ridge top fuel break, fire road maintenance and roadside vegetation clearance projects.

Defensible Space: Get ready for our 2018 Residential Inspection Program. How much clearance do you need? What plants are safe? What plants should be removed? When to remove or limb up trees.

Structural Ignitability: Tips to harden your home and make it safer: Upgrade and/or maintain: roofing, vents, windows, fencing, wooden decks, garage doors, and sprinklers.

Neighborhood Preparedness: We want your suggestions fo identifying and recruiting volunteer neighborhood preparedness coordinators to serve as local preparedness organizers.

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Check Your Mail: Living With Fire Booklet to Arrive This Week!

Living With Fire in Sleepy Hollow 2018

An all new 2018 Edition of "Living With Fire in Sleepy Hollow" will arrive in your mailbox this week.  Please don't discard - it's your best resource for learning how to protect your home and family from wildfire.  All new for 2018, the 40 page booklet provides custom information specific to Sleepy Hollow, outlining wildfire preparedness, Defensible Space, hardening a home, plants and landscaping, power line safety, and more!  Additional copies may be available form SHFPD.

Download a PDF version (8.5MB) here..

Advance copies are available at Wednesday night's Living With Fire class (April 18)!  Please plan to attend!

Look for this envelope (with Defensible Space Inspection information) in the mail this week!

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Hazard inspections begin in May for all properties in Sleepy Hollow

Fire Inspectors will evaluate every property in Sleepy Hollow annually, looking for compliance with Defensible Space standards

Wildfire Hazard Inspections Begin in May.  Is Your Home Prepared?  

Beginning early May, 2018, a team of fire inspectors from Marin County and Ross Valley Fire Departments will begin annual wildfire hazard inspections of all parcels in Sleepy Hollow.  These hazard inspections will be more thorough than in years past, and will provide homeowners with valuable written input on specific ways to reduce the hazard near your home.  Data collected will help us map and better understand the risk across the whole community.  Some parcels, especially those near open space, may receive an even more thorough inspection, and all homeowners will have an opportunity for dialogue with wildfire experts.

If you receive a hazard violation notice, you’ll have 30 days to correct the issues before a re-inspection occurs.  Although defensible space and other measures specified in the notices are required by law, we intend to use this opportunity to work with all property owners to collaboratively reduce risk while  educating residents about wildfire hazards.   Failure to comply with the defensible space standard in CA Public Resources Code 4290 and 4291 can result in fines and/or levies.

Please use the tips on the inside of this pamphlet to selectively reduce flammable vegetation on your property, and take advantage of our free chipper days to help with disposal.  Don’t forget to use fire resistant plants (www.firesafemarin.org/plants), and design your landscaping to beautify your home while improving fire resistance. 

Whay are these inspections happening?

Ross Valley Fire Department (formerly San Anselmo Fire Department) has conducted annual "grass hazard" inspections for at least 40 years.  In March 2017, Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District (SHFPD) adopted the Sleepy Hollow Wildfire Hazard and Wildland Urban Interface Area Assessment and Report.  This comprehensive report analyzes risk, identifies specific hazards, and outlines steps needed to help reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires in Sleepy Hollow.

Following two public planning meetings, SHFPD approved the implementation of the report’s recommendations, beginning with additional free chipper days, wildfire education programs, parcel-by-parcel hazard inspections, and many other preparedness and prevention programs recommended in the report. 

These inspections help ensure compliance with the laws (Section 4290 and 4291 of the CA Public Resources Code) and contribute to the overall safety of Sleepy Hollow and neighboring communities.

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