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News From Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District

Sleepy Hollow “Chipper Day” August 24, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014, Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District and FIRESafe MARIN will sponsor a “Chipper Day” for all residents of the District.  To participate, you must sign up through our new website, www.shpfd.org.  Chipper crews will visit your property and dispose of cut vegetation at no cost.


1. Create Defensible Space (it's the law!)

Please review the  booklet, “Living With Fire in Sleepy Hollow.”  All Sleepy Hollow residents should have received a printed copy by mail in early August, 2014, 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

  1. Stack materials curbside, with cut ends facing the road to allow crews to work    more efficiently.
  2. No material should be greater than 3” in diameter.
  3. Material should be freshly cut. "Green" chips are better than old, dry vegetation and cause less wear to the equipment.
  4. 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.
  5. Property owners may be asked to sign a record of the location and hours that were spent cutting the materials to be chipped. This helps us track "volunteer" time for our grant, and makes it more likely that we'll be able to offer this service in the future.

3. Chipper Day Pickup

Go to our website and fill out the simple online form so that we know you have material for pickup.  On Sunday, August 24 our “Youth2Work” team will come by your property, pick up your neatly stacked materials, run them through a wood chipper, and then they will be taken to the Marin County Recycling Center.  There is no charge for this service

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Todd Lando and FIRESafe MARIN for providing a grant to help offset expenses, Supervisor Katie Rice for her support and assistance in planning the project, John Hanley's Youth2Work for providing the labor, Small World Tree Service for the truck and chipper, and The Sleepy Hollow Homes Association for spreading the word and supporting the project.


Please contact SHFPD Director Rich Shortall at 415 457-5271 or visit www.shfpd.org.  Our new website contains lots of information about the Fire District and the various services and projects we support.

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Report on Safety of PG&E Natural Gas System

On August 6, 2014 SHFPD Director Richard Shortall met with Ross Valley Fire Battalion Chief David Stasiowski and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Senior Public Safety Specialist James Wickham to discuss the safety of the natural gas distribution system in the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District.  Read a full report of the meeting and investigation here...

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Saturday, August 9, 2014 July 5 to August 5, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Sleepy Hollow Homes Association Clubhouse
1317 Butterfield Road, San Anselmo

The Directors of the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District (SHFPD) are evaluating a request by the Sleepy Hollow Homes Association (SHHA) to participate in the Sleepy Hollow Community Center Rebuild Project (the Project). We are considering this Project because, consistent with our Strategic Plan available at www.shfpd.org), the new facility has been designed to serve as an emergency disaster center, a training and organizing center for community preparedness programs, and would include much needed office space for the SHFPD. Emergency-specific features of the facility would include emergency power and fuel for at least 96 hours, emergency drinking water sufficient for at least 96 hours, multiple backup communications systems, Red Cross-compliant sleeping accommodations for at least 65 people, equipment storage for neighborhood emergency response teams, and battery and cell phone chargers. Floor plans illustrating these emergency functions are available on our website along with information on compliance with Red Cross shelter and evacuation center standards.

pdfMeeting Agenda

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Wildfire Safety Tips - Create Defensible Space Today!

Wildfire Safety Tips - Create Defensible Space Today!

FIRESafe MARIN logoRoss Valley Fire Department wants to remind you that the fire season is here.  With the current drought situation, it is a good time to evaluate your property and make it a “Defensible Space” against the threat of wildfires.

Ross Valley Fire Department asks that all homeowners create “Defensible Space” around their homes.  This area should be a minimum of 100 feet of clearance around your home (or up to your property line).  The Defensible Space area is the area where you’ve modified the landscaping to give your house the best chance to survive on its own – greatly improving the odds for firefighters who are defending your neighborhood.  If your home is on a slope or subject to high winds, extend the distance of this zone to the area that is recommended for your property.  You can review videos and see a sample home with defensible space by going to our website www.rossvalleyfire.org and clicking on Prevention, then Defensible Space from the main page.  If you would like to schedule an inspection of your property, simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your contact information and someone will contact you to make an appointment.

In recent years, the focus of fire prevention has changed. While the end goal of preventing catastrophic loss of life, property, and natural resources has remained the same, the strategies and tactics involved have been modified. Increasing fuel loads have made today's wildland fires harder to control, expensive to suppress, and a threat to the lives of firefighters and civilians. Potential negative wildland fire consequences now involve more than blackened acres and property loss. When today's wildland fires spread, they often burn with intense heat and erratic fire behavior, severely impacting and even altering ecosystems and communities. Reactive fire suppression programs must evolve into proactive fire management programs that effectively apply fire prevention and hazardous fuels reduction techniques to not only reduce unwanted fire ignitions, but also minimize damages and personnel exposure from wildfires.   

Here’s what you can do:

Maintain a Survivable Space - "Things You Can Do Today"

  • Remove – dead and dying grass, shrubs and trees
  • Reduce – the density of vegetation (fuel) and ladder fuels, those fuels extending from the ground to the tree canopies.
  • Replace – hazardous vegetation with fire resistive, irrigated landscape vegetation including lawn, or other low growing groundcovers and flowering plants.

The Home Ignition Zone:  (the home plus 10 feet distance)

It’s the “little things” that will endanger your home.  Just a little ember landing on a little pile of flammable material will burn it.  We suggest spending a morning searching out and getting rid of those flammable little things outside and your home will be much safer.  Following are a few of the items you should take a look at:

  • Keep your rain gutters and roof clean of all flammable material.
  • Get rid of dry grass, brush and other flammable materials around your home – and don’t forget leaves, pine needles, and bark walkways.  Replace with well-maintained landscape vegetation, green lawn and landscape rocks.
  • Clear all flammable materials from your deck.  This includes brooms, stacked wood, and easily ignitable patio furniture.  Also, enclose or board up the area under your deck to keep it from becoming a fuel bed for hot embers.
  • Move woodpiles and garbage cans away from your home.  Keep woodpiles away from the home a distance of two times the height of the pile – more if space allows.
  • Use fine mesh metal screen (1/4” or less) to cover eaves, roof and foundation vents to prevent windblown embers from entering.
  • Inspect and clean your chimney every year.  Trim away branches within 10 feet of the opening of the chimney.  Install a spark arrester with ½” or smaller screen.

You can also visit the FIRESafe MARIN website – www.firesafemarin.org – for more detailed information on clearing around your property.  Please sign up for the FIRESafe MARIN newsletter for updates on wildfire preparedness in Marin.

If you have specific questions or would like to schedule an appointment for an inspection, please visit www.rossvalleyfire.org, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 258-4686.

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Emergency Center Information Page

Emergency Center Information Page

Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District (SHFPD)  requested recommendations from District residents for projects and programs to improve emergency preparedness in Sleepy Hollow.    Recommendations include consideration of a proposal to participate in the Sleepy Hollow Community Center Rebuild Project.  A study and architectural drawings and concepts are now complete.   Learn more...

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