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Sonoma County prepares for fire season with defensible space inspections

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Inspectors from Permit Sonoma’s Fire Prevention Division and some local fire protection districts will be conducting hazardous vegetation and combustible materials inspections this spring on 3,500 properties that are at high risk for wildfire.

Sonoma County’s Fire Code allows for inspection and abatement of hazardous vegetation and combustible materials on unincorporated parcels of five acres or less, Permit Sonoma spokeswoman Maggie Fleming said in a statement.

Parcels that have been selected for inspections will receive a mailed notice this month, and will be inspected in May.

The amount of defensible buffer space required between vegetation and structures on improved parcels varies between 30 feet and 100 feet depending on the slope, amount and type of vegetation, according to the county Fire Code.

Property owners or residents will be notified in writing of violations and corrective action that is necessary for compliance. The county can abate the hazard if corrective actions are not taken within a prescribed time and owners and residents face civil, administrative and criminal penalties.

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