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Vegetation Management Program


Your health is our number one priority during this National Emergency related to the global pandemic COVID-19 outbreak. With the most recent updates from the CDC, Marin County Health Department and the Marin County Order to Shelter in Place. The following changes to our daily work plan shall go into effect starting Monday March 16th, 2020 at 08:00 and remain in place until a notice of cancelation has been issued.


Under the County of Marin's Order, issued March 31, 2020, vegetation management work that includes the reduction and/or removal of vegetation in regards to mitigating fire hazards and providing defensible space is determined as an essential service. 

For homes located in the Wildland Urban Interface, work shall continue, either personally or by landscapers or gardeners, to conduct this critical fire safety work.  Fire Chief's letter for verification of vegetation management for fire safety. Vegetation Management for fire prevention and safety should include, but not be limited to:

  • Cutting dry grasses and brush 10 feet from roads, driveways, and property lines, 30 feet from the home, and up to 150 feet for homes affected by steep slopes.
  • Trimming back branches that are smaller than three inches in diameter that is within 10 feet of the structure.
  • Clearing out dead debris, including buildup of leaves, needles, and tree droppings, from decks, roofs, exterior stairs and walkways, and gutters.
  •  Removing dead vegetation from the property, including the buildup of dead debris and droppings from within shrubs, bushes, and trees.
  • Limbing up trees by cutting low hanging branches 10 feet from the ground and cutting branches from other trees and shrubs to create adequate spacing.

All individuals who are performing vegetation maintenance work are required to follow the CDC Guidelines for sanitation and social distancing.

Vegetation Management Hotline: 

Battalion Chief Scott Barnes

Few of us will forget the horrifying images of the Mt. Vision Fire that swept through Inverness in 1995.  By obliterating 12,000 acres and destroying 45 homes, the Mt. Vision Fire served as a grim reminder of the importance of maintaining defensible space around our properties.

Soon after, the Mill Valley City Council unanimously approved a multi-year, city wide Vegetation Management Program to reduce the chances of a wild land fire sweeping through our community.

The Vegetation Management Plan consists of the following:

Annual maintenance of paved roads, trees and understory

Annual maintenance of City owned land

Establishment of fuel breaks between cities and canyons

Sudden Oak Death tree removal

City Chipper program*
*Prior to removing mature trees, contact the City Planning Department for specific regulations

Establishment  and maintenance of Mill Valley's steps, lanes and paths

Defensible space and evacuation news letter

Vegetation management hotline

Current annual budget of $300,000

Public education workshops and seminars

Designated parking program

City of Mill Valley Emergency Warning System

Know when you need to respond to an emergency

Emergency Siren System
Telephone Emergency Notification System ( T.E.N.S.).  If you would like to sign up, please click here.

If you hear a siren, please tune into local television and radio stations for further information and/or instructions.  Please do not call 911.

Residential Fire Hazard Assessment Program

Request a free evaluation of your home's potential fire hazards.

The Mill Valley Fire Department offers a very detailed fire hazard assessment of residential properties that are in the wildland/urban interface.  This program provides the homeowner with valuable information on how to achieve defensible space and to reduce the threat of a wildland fire.

For more information on this program call 415-389-4130 or click here to fill out a Residential Fire Hazard Assessment request form.

This service is made possible by funding from the Municipal Services Tax.

Much more information on fire safety and preparedness can be found below: