As news floods in from the Australian fire siege, Mill Valley residents are reminded that California’s next fire season is just around the corner.
As news floods in from the Australian fire siege, Mill Valley residents are reminded that California’s next fire season is just around the corner.
In recent months, members of the Mill Valley community have noted that PG&E has left behind debris piles from their work pruning and removing trees that are too close to their transmission and distribution lines. Learn more about PG&E's tree work and debris removal policies, how City staff have followed up with PG&E to address the issue, and what community members can do to report incidents.
On November 7th, Mill Valley Fire Chief Tom Welch and Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Maggie Lang met with approximately 120 members of the Outdoor Art Club and the greater Mill Valley Community to discuss important elements of defensible space near homes, family preparedness as well as essential information regarding neighborhood and community evacuation. The event was well received by the Club and community with an active dialogue during the follow-up question and answer session.
A Red Flag Warning has been announced for 4 am Wednesday through 7 am Thursday morning due to high winds and low humidity.
On the heels of a smaller PG&E power outage on October 9 that impacted about 800 residents, Mill Valley experienced a widespread PG&E power outage beginning the evening of Saturday, October 26 and extended to the afternoon/early evening of Tuesday, October 29. The “Public Safety Power Shutoff” (PSPS) is PG&E’s pre-emptive wildfire prevention safety response to a predicted strong wind event combined with high fire danger conditions throughout Northern California.
On Monday October 14, 2019 at 10:30pm, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake originating in the East Bay hit Mill Valley and Southern Marin. No major injuries were reported. But seismologists warn us not to become complacent - more earthquakes are likely and the time to prepare is now.
The City has developed a Draft Plan and Playbook, with details on how to continue providing essential City services.
October 23, 2019
At their October 21, 2019 meeting, Mill Valley City Council members adopted a Resolution authorizing the City of Mill Valley's participation in the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement (JPA) to participate in and form the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority. The Council also requested that the County of Marin place a Parcel Tax Measure on the March 3, 2020 ballot for a term of 10 years.
Join a free event at the Outdoor Art Club with Mill Valley Fire Chief, Tom Welch on November 7, 2019 at 1:00 PM
City staff will post notices to indicate that curbside parking in both directions will be restricted on Miller Avenue from Millwood to Willow Street during the Red Flag Days, which are in effect from 8 pm Saturday evening to 10 am Sunday morning.
Join FIRESafe MARIN for a FREE 2-hour seminar for homeowners on wildfire home-hardening on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
The latest news.
On September 7, 2019, the City of Mill Valley held a well-attended ribbon cutting event to celebrate the deployment of the new Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD).
Here is what we recommend:
Public Safety Alerts are like Swiss Cheese - None of them are without holes. But if you opt in or are aware of multiple methods to receive alerts and find news, then the holes get smaller and you have a greater chance of being informed in an emergency.
This is an excellent time for all families to make sure their own family emergency plans are in order. This week, we’re talking about how to prepare for a possible evacuation.
Information on changes to improve our community’s ability to withstand a wildfire.
After almost a full year of community engagement, education and discussion on the issue of fire prevention and preparedness, the proposed ordinance to require structures in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) to remove certain fire-prone vegetation will return to Council on September 5, 2019.
In our ongoing quest to improve our emergency preparedness and evacuations, Mill Valley residents will receive a mailer via postal mail that will explain the most important steps we can take to plan and prepare for an emergency.
Many Mill Valley residents experienced a widespread power outage last night starting around 11:10 pm and lasting until about 2:00 am this morning.
We are pleased to announce that the Community Center has received a new generator to provide critical services during a prolonged electrical outages we may experience in extreme weather conditions.
With temperatures steadily increasing this week, the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for the North Bay. Expect hot temperatures inland from Wednesday into Thursday.
In an emergency, first responders from all around the area might be looking for your house. Do your address markers pass the test?
Update on important events and news.
Last fall, the City Council introduced an Ordinance to amend Title 15 of the Mill Valley Municipal Code regarding vegetation around residential and commercial buildings located within City Limits in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Fire Area.
Recent and upcoming activities related to fire prevention and preparedness.
Flying embers can destroy homes up to a mile ahead of a wildfire. Homeowners should "harden" their homes long before a fire starts.
Stay safe on the Fourth of July!
The Fourth of July celebration is coming up. With that the Mill Valley Fire Department wants to remind you to stay safe and enjoy responsibly. Fireworks are still illegal in the county of Marin. There are plenty of venues around the bay to get your firework fill.
Monday, June 17 North Bay Fire Engine Companies will participate in the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Relay. Fire engines and trucks as far as the eye can see will be part of a procession traveling through the North Bay stopping at participating fire stations to raise awareness and gather donations for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. The relay procession is estimated to arrive at the Mill Valley Main Fire Station 7, 1 Hamilton Drive, Mill Valley at 9:00 a.m. All are welcome to attend.
Earlier we received reports of a quarter acre vegetation fire on the west side of Panoramic Highway and Muir Woods Road.
Learn about how you can protect your home from the threat of wildfire and how we can protect our community.
Please join us on Monday, Memorial Day, May 27, for the Annual Mill Valley Association of Volunteer Firefighters’ Pancake Breakfast from 7:00 am to 11:00 am.
The City of Mill Valley conducted its Annual Evacuation Drill on May 18, 2019 with over 170 residents participating. The drill focused on the Scott Valley and Alto/Sutton Manor neighborhoods – an area of town in the Wildland Urban Interface, an area where homes are built near or among lands prone to wildland fire.
Fire Chief Tom Welch was recently awarded the "Tom Forster Perpetual Leadership Award" at the Marin County Fire Chiefs annual recognition dinner.
Crews from Mill Valley and Central Marin fire departments will work with Open Space District rangers to conduct controlled pile burning on Wednesday and Thursday, April 10th and 11th, during daylight hours in the Horse Hill Preserve. Burn crews are monitoring air quality conditions and will coordinate with air quality management officials to avoid the impacts of smoke.
At their recent Community Meeting on Monday, March 25, 2019, the Mill Valley City Council and Fire Officials presented to an audience of over 350 community members the proposed Vegetation Management Ordinance, which would require eliminating most vegetation within 3 feet of homes/buildings, as well as an update on recent fire prevention and preparedness activities, evacuation plans, and emergency communications.
As part of enhanced wildfire safety efforts, implemented following the recent wildfires as additional precautionary measures intended to further reduce wildfire risks, PG&E is performing accelerated safety inspections of electric infrastructure in areas of higher wildfire risk. These enhanced and accelerated inspections involve approximately 685,000 PG&E distribution poles and 50,000 PG&E transmission structures in high fire-threat areas across PG&E’s service territory.
Following the 2017 Sonoma/Napa conflagrations, which have now been eclipsed by the mega-fires in Shasta and Butte Counties, the Mill Valley Fire Department has been actively evaluating/implementing programs and processes to ensure our lowest overall community risk possible.
On November 27th, the City of Mill Valley Police and Fire Departments received notice of a bomb threat at the Mill Valley Middle School. School officials quickly placed the entire campus of approximately 1200 students, teachers, staff and administrators on shelter in place, and then ordered an evacuation to the Mill Valley Community Center.
When disaster strikes residents may be asked to evacuate their homes.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for our area. Critical fire weather is developing, and any fires that develop during this time will likely spread rapidly.
As we head into the rainy season, now is a good time to update your contact information and check out some helpful links related to preparing for emergencies, power outages, and power line safety.
Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters, the Mill Valley City Council, and Fire Service members from around the region thanked and honored Battalion Chief St. John on the occasion of his retirement.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the North Bay Mountains and other parts of the Bay Area, which is in effect from 8 PM this evening to 5 PM Monday October 8th.
Battalion Chief Scott Barnes is leading a "Strike Team" of 5 fire engines to position themselves on Mill Valley fire roads today. You may see them driving through town. This is a standard procedure in response to the Red Flag Warning that is in effect today.
September Fire Department Public Education Newsletter
As reported, on Friday, August 17, 2018, the Mill Valley Fire Department responded to a vegetation fire in the area of Edgewood Reservoir.
A small half acre vegetation fire was reported around 2:34pm, Mill Valley Fire Department and neighboring agencies responded immediately and the fire was deemed contained by 2:52pm. No evacuations are in effect and no structures were threatened, though we do ask you to avoid the area as emergency crews finish up.
With the ongoing fires around the State, the City continues to focus on fire preparedness and prevention in our community, as described by City Manager Jim McCann at the Mill Valley City Council meeting on August 7, 2018.
Update on drift smoke in the area.
A message from Fire Chief Tom Welch
Mill Valley Fire Department was awarded $21,000 from the Assistance to Firefighter Grant to purchase two new thermal imaging cameras (TIC) to assistance in seeing through the smoke to locate people and animals.
On June 14, 2018, the Mill Valley Fire Department conducted a demonstration of a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) at the Public Safety Building with all of the Marin County Fire Chiefs in attendance. This test is in furtherance of the Fire Department’s initiative to improve the City’s readiness and responsiveness to a significant fire event, such as the wildfires experienced in Napa and Sonoma in 2017.
On June 18, the Mill Valley Fire Department will be performing annual fuel reduction on both sides of Camino Alto from East Blithedale up to the City limits with Corte Madera.
Please join us Monday, May 28, Memorial Day for the annual Mill Valley Association of Volunteer Firefighters breakfast from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. located downtown in front of City Hall, 26 Corte Madera Avenue.
In the wake of recent devastating fires, the Mill Valley Fire Department and Emergency Preparedness Commission urges you to act now to prepare for the upcoming fire season.
“It is hard to say how this fire season will shape up,” Fire Chief Tom Welch said at a recent Get Ready Mill Valley meeting. “If it is anything like the previous ones, we could be in for a doozy.”
Learn How to Get Prepared
On Friday, April 6, a late season storm system with unseasonably high moisture content brought periods of rain, heavy at times, to the Mill Valley area.
The Annual Community Meeting provided helpful information and updates and provided an opportunity of community members to share their thoughts, questions an concerns.
Mill Valley Fire Chief Tom Welch joined Assemblymember Marc Levine and FIRESafe Marin for a Town Hall meeting that discussed what state, county, and local governments are doing to prepare for wildfires and how we plan to improve fire safety in Marin.
Training will take place between Tuesday, January 22nd and Thursday, January 25th from 9:30am to noon and from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Expect minor coastal flooding with sea water on roadways, parking lots, trails and sidewalks through January 2.
Lessons learned from the Sonoma & Napa Fires and is Mill Valley Ready?
Lessons learned from the Sonoma/Napa fires.
The Great California ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes: "Drop, Cover and Hold On." The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage you, your community, your school or your organzation to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies.
The latest updates on the vegetation fire in Sausalito. Local traffic impacts.
Today's air quality level is now at the "Red" level, which means
"Unhealthy." People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
We have received many inquiries from Mill Valley residents to find out how they can help those impacted by the fires that have destroyed so many neighborhoods in the North Bay. We have assembled the following list of resources for community members to donate, volunteer, and assist in any way they can.
The North Bay fires serve as a stark reminder that disaster can strike at any time. Disaster planning is about keeping you safe, warm, and fed after a disaster. ReadyMarin.org suggests you prepare for 5-7 days without power or utilities.Getting prepared can seem overwhelming. Here are some simple steps to get you started.
Approximately 29 City of Mill Valley employees in addition to teachers and staff in the Mill Valley and Tamalpais School Districts, and employees in businesses throughout town live in neighborhoods that have been evacuated, are on standby to evacuate, or are helping family evacuate or prepare to evacuate.
We have learned that our Mill Valley Fire Chief, Tom Welch, a resident of Santa Rosa, has lost his family home due to the wildfires in the region. His family is safe. At this point we are still learning how other City of Mill Valley employees are impacted as well.
A “YouCaring” site has been set up to assist Chief Welch and other families. Click here to donate.
Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this disaster.
Work crews are set to conduct the second phase of a tree removal project on Edgewood Avenue staring Monday October 2, 2017 to Friday, October 6, 2017.
Every September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responder groups observe National Preparedness Month. It is a time when communities are encouraged to take steps to prepare for natural and man-made emergencies in their homes, schools, and businesses. As the month draws to a close, it’s important for us to look within our own community of Mill Valley to learn how we can be better prepared to help our families and our neighbors. The city’s Emergency Preparedness Commission offers suggestions on how to make an emergency plan, how to get ready to shelter at home, and how to get ready to evacuate should you need to leave your home on quick notice, For futher information, please visit City of Mill Valley Emergency Preparedness or Ready Marin.
Recognizing that Mill Valley is unique in that it is located between two major fault lines and lies within a wildfire threat zone, many people want to be ready to help not just their families, but their wider communities. Should an emergency occur, only the first responders that are on duty within the city and county will be available to assist initially. Many first responders do not reside within Mill Valley or even Marin County’s borders. Therefore, it’s critical that our citizens be trained to help fill the gap between the disaster event and the arrival of professional help.
A message from Michelle Godard Terrell, Mill Valley resident and member of the City of Mill Valley Emergency Preparedness Commission
Come learn why our communities are at great risk for a catastrophic fire and what you can do about it. Learn how to create and implement attractive landscaping that complies with your Fire Department’s Defensible Space regulations.The class also covers how to make your home more fire resistant and what you need to know to be ready to evacuate if needed.
Participating restaurants and shops to donate 5% of their proceeds on Thursday, Sept. 7 to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey via the American Red Cross.
Only call 911 if you see a fire or a visible building column of smoke. Click for more information.
Hot temperatures return Thursday through Monday.
Small Earthquake – Big Message
On August 22, 2017 a 3.0 magnitude earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean.
Approximately 7 miles outside the San Francisco Bay. Although the earthquake was relatively small and resulted in no appreciable damage, the Mill Valley Emergency Preparedness Commission (EPC) urges you to take heed prior to the “big one”. This small quake was in the same general location as the 1906 earthquake that so devastated San Francisco. The U.S. Geological Survey states there is a 72% probability of a significant earthquake at some point before 2043.
High tides are expected over the weekend in the late evening and early morning hours. Please take precaution if you live in low lying areas.
The City of Mill Valley conducted its 10th Annual City-wide area evacuation drill on May 20, 2017. The drill targeted the Edgewood/ Homestead Valley neighborhoods and was conducted in collaboration with the Southern Marin Fire Protection District, PG&E, and many other agencies.
Saturday, May 20th, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Tamalpais High School
May Fire Department Public Education Newsletter
Are you prepared for an emergency evacuation?
Japanese fire officials chose to visit Mill Valley on a recent trip to the United States to glean best practices on issues like disaster response and volunteer programs.
Mill Valley residents and property owners – particularly those living in areas adjacent to open space – will be seeing much more of Mill Valley Fire Department personnel in the coming weeks. Those visits won’t be of the flashing lights and sirens variety – in fact, they’re specifically designed to prevent them.
When Mill Valley Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Barnes took over the City’s Vegetation Management Program six years ago, he sought to wrap his arms around a multi-faceted campaign designed for one critical purpose: to reduce the chance of a wildland fire sweeping through our community, particularly at this time year with fire season on the horizon.
This June, the City of Mill Valley is planning to make changes at two narrow intersections to improve access for fire trucks and emergency vehicles. City engineers seek community input on the plans and will conduct neighborhood meetings in upcoming weeks.