County of Marin - News Releases - Fire Prevention Grants

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2020

State Grants Assist with Wildfire Prevention

More than $1.25 million will improve safety in Tam Valley, San Geronimo Valley

San Rafael, CA – Two Marin County wildfire prevention projects are receiving a funding injection worth more than $1.25 million from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as CAL FIRE.

Fire photo shows trees and smoke in the background and green ferns in the foreground.The Marin County Fire Department was awarded a $534,316 grant and the Southern Marin Fire Protection District secured $720,378 for wildfire fuel reduction projects.
CAL FIRE announced it was awarding $43.5 million from its Fire Prevention Grant Program to 55 fire agencies and other local organizations to help reduce wildfire risk. The Marin County Fire Department was awarded $534,316 and the Southern Marin Fire Protection District secured $720,378 for wildfire fuel reduction projects. They were among 55 awarded projects statewide.

Marin County Fire’s funds will go toward improving community evacuation routes and emergency crew vehicular access in the San Geronimo Valley. The treatment area is about 65 acres along 12 miles of non-County maintained roads. By removing overgrown trees and other vegetation in the area, there will be improved emergency response vehicle access and safer evacuation options for residents in the event of a wildfire.

Southern Marin Fire plans to create a 4.5-mile fuel break between the unincorporated Tam Valley neighborhood and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Tam Valley residents live within the wildland urban interface (WUI) that has been the subject of two wildfires since 2004. The focus will be on the areas posing the greatest threat to residents and property within the very high and high fire hazard safety zones, including narrow turn-arounds and dead ends that hamper access by emergency vehicles. Once completed, the project’s greenhouse gas benefits are expected to come from improved health of remaining vegetation and the probable reduction in the spread of future fires.

The majority of work on both Marin projects will be done by private contractors, but some will be handled by local fire crews.

Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber also noted the pending certification of Measure C, a new countywide tax measure that supports the new Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority and its efforts to plan for and mitigate the effects of wildfires. As of the March 13 ballot tally, Measure C – which needed a two-thirds majority to pass – had received 70.28% support from voters during the March 3 primary election.

“As promised, our pursuit of state and federal grants will augment the funds from Measure C to significantly enhance wildfire protection across the County,” Weber said. “A lot of time and effort went into planning and applying for these grants, we are very thankful for the support.”

A year ago, the nonprofit FireSafe Marin received a $993,000 grant from the same state-funded program. The money was part of a $1.3 million project aimed at improving evacuation routes in seven towns and cities in central Marin and hillside neighborhoods on the eastern slopes of Mount Tamalpais.

The Fire Prevention Grant Program is part of the California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy and improve public health and the environment.

Since 2014, CAL FIRE has funded over 430 local fire prevention grants totaling more than $150 million. The projects have addressed the risk of wildfire and reduced wildfire potential to communities in wildland urban interface areas.


Jason Weber
Marin County Fire Department

33 Castle Rock Ave.
Woodacre, CA 94973
(415) 473-6717
Email: Jason Weber
Marin County Fire website