News

Fire Access Improvements and Tree Removals

The City of Mill Valley is working hard to make immediate and long-term improvements to the City’s emergency response access routes. Multiple City departments, including Public Works, Fire, and our Code Enforcement Officer are working throughout the community to maintain sight and access clearances. We are in the process of designing access improvements for the top seven locations identified as priority intersections for fire engine access.

"The 2017 Sonoma County fires have really motivated us to step up our fire prevention and preparedness efforts," Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters said. "Our General Plan also directs us to maintain our roadways necessary to ensure that emergency services can readily and efficiently function with available equipment. At the same time, we are sensitive to site disruption and tree removal. We recognize the need to balance the many community interests."

The first two intersection improvement projects are in the final design stages. Public Works staff expect that construction will begin in the Spring of 2019. Improvements at the intersections of Hazel Ave at Rose and Marion are being designed to better accommodate fire engines. 

To conduct the needed widening and regrading of the intersections, both projects will require grading and the removal of selected trees located in or next to these intersections. City engineers have evaluated design options and determined least impactful design alternatives to achieve the needed access improvements. 

Why Do We Need Access Improvements?

The City of Mill Valley may need to rely on "mutual aid" from other public safety agencies in the event of an emergency. Agencies from all around California may come to Mill Valley to lend assistance, and our streets need to be ready for them. City engineers have identified specific improvements needed to adjust intersections and road segments in hillside neighborhoods to better accommodate the specially designed smaller turn radius of the Mill Valley engines, as well as the standard engines used by nearby municipalities.  Fire and Public Works staff have worked Marin and Sonoma Fire Departments to ensure designs will serve a mutual aid response.  

Other Fire Prevention Programs
The City Council has directed increased funding to support the City’s Vegetation Management Program. For the next two years, the Fire Department will conduct enhanced vegetation clearing, community education and fuel reduction programming. Public Works staff has also coordinated with PG&E as they complete two major wildfire safety programs throughout the City. The PG&E Vegetation Management Program directs crews to trim and remove trees, brush and vegetation near power lines, poles and service access pathways. The PG&E Reconductoring Program oversees the replacement of overhead cables with stronger and more fire-resistant materials.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work towards the goal of community-wide preparedness and prevention measures.

Learn more

An informational meeting will be held on September 24, 2018, 1:00pm at the Mill Valley Fire Department, 1 Hamilton Drive, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Learn more here.

Please feel free to contact City staff and PG&E for more information.