County of Marin - News Releases - Identifying Illegal Fires

For Immediate Release
October 22, 2014

Help Us Identify Illegal Fire Sources on County Lands

Recent 4-acre redwood blaze caused by illegal fire, according to fire marshal

San Rafael, CA – Marin County Parks is asking visitors to keep an eye out for evidence of smoking, fireworks or illegal camping at County-maintained parks and open space preserves in the wake of a four-acre fire in the San Geronimo Valley.

Marin County Fire Marshal Scott Alber said a wildfire October 14 in Roy’s Redwoods Open Space Preserve was caused by an illegal fire that was allowed to escape from a campfire.  

“Campfire and smoking restrictions are in place not only for the protection of our open space lands but for lives that could be endangered,” Deputy Fire Chief Mark Brown said. “The incident highlighted the threat posed by illegal campfires and any other ignition source. We have been in drought conditions for so long that it will take significant rain for a long period of time to remove the increased threat.”

Marin County Parks rangers regularly patrol the 34 Marin County Open Space District preserves and its 16,000 acres of public land.

“That’s a lot of ground to cover,” said Chief Ranger Ari Golan. “Real-time reporting from other visitors — mountain bikers, equestrians, and hikers — help us respond to incidents immediately, or in the case of emergencies, connect with fire and police agencies.”

Daily ranger patrols typically involve safety and maintenance checks, education, assistance, and responding to in-the-field violations. Since 2004, the District has logged eight fire-related incidents at Roy’s Redwoods.

“Our public education efforts help ensure visitors behave fire safe,” Golan added. “Our rangers are trained to address violations promptly because of the risk of wildfire.”

Suspicious evidence can be logged on the County’s new online citizen observation report. Reach a ranger by calling 415-473-2816. For an active unattended fire, call 911.


Pat O'Brien
Interim Director and General Manager
Marin County Parks

Marin Civic Center
Suite 260
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6387
Email: Pat O'Brien
Marin County Parks website