VISTA — In an effort to reduce fire risk, property inspections were conducted in Vista resulting mailing a total of 708 weed abatement notices out. During the Aug. 9 meeting, Fire Inspector Mike McFadden signaled a 96 percent compliance rate.
“We continue working together with other property owners to reach 100 percent compliance,” McFadden said.
McFadden said a letter was triggered by noncompliance for the very first inspection to taxpayers. Observing a month from the time of that mailing, if a re-inspection showed a continued breach, then a “notice” was posted on the property.
“Within about ten days of that ‘notice,’ if no actions was accepted by the property owner to comply with minimal fire safe standards, then the Fire Marshal has the authority to approve the forced abatement process,” McFadden said.
McFadden reported a high number of meetings. People retreated together with the warmer weather, which provided an opportunity. McFadden shared that flames over the state of California have left citizens more aware and proactive.
“We handed out a lot of wildfire guides, did six person fire code assessments at houses and I have more lined up,” McFadden said. “Education is such a significant part of what we do.”
Also discussed were six emergency access roads in Vista. McFadden remarked that the district contractor is Landscaping, and also the district hired this season to clear those emergency access roads. The roads must be used in situations of crisis and if directed and escorted by licensed personnel.
According to McFadden, the town of Vista recently struck a grass fire of several acres which extended to a small barn. The cause was children playing with fireworks.
“It (the fire) was close trees and on a slope, together with wind forcing the fire spread,” McFadden said. “The fire crews could contain it without damaging any residential constructions, and there were no injuries.
“This wasn’t luck,” he added. “The property owners in the region had taken steps ahead of time to clear their property of tall grasses and also assured low hanging branches from palm trees had been pruned.”
McFadden shared that the reason for containment was a result of weed abatement efforts by taxpayers taken ahead.
“We can not emphasize this enough,” he explained. “By taking steps to guarantee defensible space, you and your belongings have a better chance to survive a wildfire event.”