Important Phone Numbers
In our rural community we do not have the luxury of fire hydrants every 100 feet, but we do all have water tanks. However, if your local volunteer Fire Brigade cannot reach the tank or if those tanks do not have the proper connections that the Brigade can use, they cannot use the water for firefighting purposes, making that water virtually useless in the event of a fire. Make sure your water tank has the appropriate fire department connections and if access is a problem or if the tank is located a distance from the road consider installing a fire hydrant. You can obtain these fire department connections through various vendors. We have successfully used Kennedy Brothers in Salinas (831) 753-6100. Now mark those connections so they are easily located with the standard markings. A red plaque with white reflective letters that simply states: "Fire Department Connection" hanging around or attached to the water source. Fashion Streaks in Sand City, will mail you the appropriate sign for a nominal charge of $10. You can contact Fashion Streaks at (831) 393-0933.
Have your address posted and visible
Please obtain and post your address at the end of your driveway so the Fire Brigade can find you easily. Numbers should be a minimum of 4" in height and should be reflective to be easily read at night from both directions of travel. If we can't find you, we can't help. You want the firefighters to be able to identify your home quickly. If you don't have an address you can obtain one easily by contacting the Monterey County Department of Public Works at (831) 755-4800 or by writing them at 312 E. Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93901. You will need to supply your assessors parcel number and a check for $25.00. You can obtain an address from Public Works for vacant property. Once you obtain your address please call the Fire Brigade with your name, assessors parcel number, phone number and address. The Fire Brigade will make sure that your new address is added to the response brooks. All information is strictly confidential and will not be shared with any other public agency! Remember when the heat is on, seconds count.
Reduce flammable vegetation around your home to create defensible space
In the event of a fire in the community you can help your Fire Brigade help you by providing defensible space that firefighters will need to save your home in a fire. Defensible space means clearing all flammable vegetation for a minimum of 30 feet and reduce flammable vegetation a minimum of an additional 70 fee around your home. Replant with fire resistive native vegetation for erosion control. Limb trees a minimum of 6 - 8 feet from the ground and keep your roof and gutters free from pine needles and leaves.
You can find more information on creating defensible space on the Fire Safe Council For Monterey County website by clicking here.
What about burning?
Before you can burn, it is now necessary to obtain a burn permit from either your local fire brigade or from the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District. If you want to burn within the area of responsibility of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, you can access burn permit information on its website by clicking here. If you want to burn within the area of responsibility of the Mid Coast Fire Brigade, you can access burn permit information on its website by clicking here.
Before you burn - A line must be cleared to bare mineral soil around the pile, you must have a shovel at the burn site, and someone must be in attendance at all times with water readily available in case of an escape. You can be held liable for any damages and suppression costs if your burn escapes the pile. You must also call the air district at (800) 225-BURN to find out if burning is permitted for that day.
It is critical to understand that when the recording at (800) 225-BURN says it is a burn day, that does not mean it is safe to burn. Rather, it means the air district thinks that weather conditions are such that smoke will be dispersed without causing health problems.
If it is a burn day, and if you have a burn permit, and if your local volunteer fire department does not have additional burn restrictions in place, you are still responsible for deciding whether it is safe to burn under the conditions at your location.
Also before you burn, please call your local Fire Brigade and advise them that you are burning, your name, a contact phone number and location. This saves numerous fire responses to a planned pile burn. If no one answers, please leave a message with the above information.
Backyard burning is typically permitted from December 1 to April 30 only, unless limited further due to unusual conditions!
Appointment with your fire brigade
If you are unsure what needs to be done to make your property fire safe, contact your local volunteer fire brigade and arrange a visit to your property to discuss just how much clearance is needed or a possible fire hydrant connection. You can contact your fire brigade using the phone numbers above, or contact information on their website.