COVID-19 requires that we shelter in place. While at home, here are 5 simple things to help increase your defensible space in case of wildfire.
1. Rake and Remove
Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves within a minimum of 3 to 5 feet of your home's foundation. And if you have the time, continue raking up to a 30 foot distance around your home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
2. Clear and Clean
Clear and clean debris and pine needles from your roof and gutters paying attention to maintaining the home ignition zone.
3. Sweep and Rake
Sweep porches and decks; clear leaves and pine needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds, and play structures.
4. Mow grass
Mow grasses to a height of 4 inches or less.
5. Remove items
TIP: Before starting any projects, be certain to practice safe procedures. Review these safety tips and precautions.
Did you know that Mill Valley Refuse provides 4 curbside cleanups as part of your service?
In Corte Madera and Hidden Valley, one of the curbside cleanups can be yard waste. This is a great way to reduce flammable yard waste and increase the defensible space around your home. Up to three (3) cubic yards of material* is allowed for yard waste cleanup. Sound like a lot?
It's twenty-one 32-gallon trash bags!
Schedule Your Cleanup
Scheduling Your On-Call Curbside Cleanup
Just call Mill Valley Refuse at least 24 hours in advance of your regular garbage pickup day to schedule one of your personal curbside cleanups. Phone: 415-457-9760
Office hours: Monday – Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Mill Valley Refuse
Branches must be tied in bundles less than 5′ in length and light enough for one person to lift; loose material may be bagged in compostable PAPER bags only. *
Curbside Cleanup Details
• Cleanups must be scheduled in advance.
• Limit per each cleanup is three (3) cubic yards (three cubic yards equals twenty-one 32-gallon trash bags).
• All articles for disposal must be at the street no later than 6:00 am on your normal collection day.
• Place all trash and rubbish in disposable boxes or containers. No containers or garbage carts will be returned.
• Items can be bundled together with strong cord but must not be over five (5) feet long.
• There is a 60-pound weight limit on all items.
MV Refuse cannot take the following items: cement, rocks, dirt, ashes, auto parts, household hazardous wastes, E-wastes (televisions, computers, etc.), tires, appliances, furniture, mattresses, construction material or yard waste (unless specifically allowed in our jurisdiction).
On regular, non-clean up days.
If you have extra yard waste, which does not fit in your cart, call us the day before your pick-up at (415) 457-9760 to ensure any extra bags/bundles will be picked up and not left behind. There is a $6.00 charge for each bag/bundle.
You are invited to the Annual Hidden Valley Party! This year is western themed BBQ catered by Pig in a Pickle. There will be separate bar with Happy Hour prices and free prizes will be given out.
May 19th, 2019 4-7 p.m.
Corte Madera Community Center
$15 Kids 11-15
$10 Kids 5-10
Pay at the door, cash or check only.
Meet your neighbors. Learn about the non-profit Hidden Valley NRG initiatives to protect our neighborhood in the event of a wildfire or earthquake.
Don't miss the fun! Here are pictures from last year's party.
What's a Chipper Day?
An opportunity to have your fire-prone shrubs, small trees, low hanging branches, and yard cleanup materials shredded and removed for FREE. The Town of Corte Madera will supply the chipper and personnel to operate it. The chipper will come to each of our major streets to shred collected piles of debris at designated locations.
Why are Chipper Days being offered?
The Town of Corte Madera knows that Hidden Valley is rated a “high hazard” area for wildfires. We are very much at risk. Chipper days are one of the most cost-effective ways to dispose of flammable plant materials. One of the best ways to reduce the chance of losing our homes is to create a minimum of 10 to 100 feet of defensible space around the home.
What Can You Chip?
There is no limit to the amount you can prepare for chipping. Place small limbs, branches, and brush in a pile for chipping (no logs). Highly flammable species (Bamboo, French and Scotch broom, Acadia, Eucalyptus, Juniper, and Thujia Cypress) must be segregated into a separate pile to be chipped for landfill. Instructions on length and diameter of materials accepted will be posted on the HVNRG website in April.
What Do You Need to Do?
Cut and gather fire-prone plant materials yourself, or hire someone.
Click here for a list of gardeners previously used by Hidden Valley residents.
The town will designate locations on each street where debris should be deposited before the scheduled Chipper Day.
When will Chipper Day Be?
The week of April 29 to May 3rd. Depending on demand, there will be one or two days, to be determined in April, with time and place emailed and posted on our website
How Can You Sign Up for FREE Chipping?
You must sign up with your Block Captain by April 15th, 2019.
See FireSafeMarin website for lists of fire-prone and fire-resistant trees, plants, and shrubs. Fire professionals recommend that flammable trees and shrubs overhanging or extending into our evacuation routes be cut back or removed. Every street in Hidden Valley is an evacuation route!
Help us protect our Hidden Valley neighborhood from a destructive wildfire!
The Hidden Valley NRG Firewise Team, and HVNRG Steering Committee
The Hidden Valley NRG is excited to announce that our neighborhood is now a Firewise site!
Firewise USA is a national organization dedicated to educating, encouraging and assisting
residents in communities to reduce their wildfire risks.
What are the benefits of Firewise status? Being an approved Firewise site may help homeowners
who have had home insurance denied or threatened. Firewise status indicates that Hidden Valley
takes very seriously our wildfire threats and is actively working to diminish them. We can write
grants for funds to help with significant wildfire problem areas, such as huge eucalyptus trees.
We will encourage Marin Open Space to clear more flammable materials on the Hidden Valley
southern border, and continue collaborating with the Central Marin Fire Department to conduct
To achieve Firewise status, the Firewise team obtained input from neighbors and the Central
Marin Fire Department to describe Hidden Valley’s terrain, wildfire-related characteristics
affecting Hidden Valley, and our primary evacuation route. Using the Firewise Wildfire
Assessment template, we confirmed other formal assessments indicating Hidden Valley
neighborhoods have a high risk of wildfires. The application described five common issues in
Hidden Valley that negatively affect our community’s resilience to wildfire. (See sections 4 – 7
in the Wildfire Risk Assessment application.)
As a program participant, we have committed to developing action plans for wildfire risk
reduction for each of the next three years. This will include presenting updated wildfire
education programs, working together with Hidden Valley residents to reduce flammable
vegetation, and focusing on clearing our primary evacuation route. Action plans are evaluated for
progress on a yearly basis.
The Hidden Valley Firewise team encourages all our residents to evaluate their own wildfire
risk, and participate in mutually defending against a disastrous wildfire. We applaud and thank
those residents who have taken major steps to protect their homes and their neighborhoods and
encourage others to join us.
As our first activity of 2019, we are helping facilitate a FREE CHIPPER DAY in Hidden Valley
during the week of April 29 – May 3. More information will be provided to you by Block
Captains this week. This is a great opportunity to reduce wildfire risk.
The HVNRG will conduct an EARTHQUAKE DRILL this Saturday from 10-11 AM
Twice a year the HVNRG conducts an earthquake drill to simulate a large-scale emergency and response. This is an opportunity for our teams to practice surveying the neighborhood, communicating on 2-way radios, and responding to test scenarios.
We ask that ALL HVNRG neighbors post their OK signs in a visible window.
Block Captains will be walking the neighborhood looking for your signs as well as practice scenarios that will be communicated back to IC.
The full drill includes:
Incident command will be located at 2 Madrono Ave. Come by and say hello while we're practicing!
Central Marin Fire Department present: FIRE EXTINGUISHER TRAINING DAY Saturday, June 9th, 2018 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fire Station 14, 342 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera
DO YOU HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER IN YOUR HOME? The fire department recommends that you have at least one fire extinguisher in your home, and that you know how to use it!
LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR FIRE EXTINGUISHER We will provide the fire extinguisher and the fire! This training will also include a short presentation and video. This is an invaluable practice session for those who have never used a fire extinguisher and are hesitant to do so. Fire Master will be offering to refill your extinguisher for $20. They will also be selling 5lb fire extinguishers at discounted price of $50. Please bring cash for purchase or refilling.
Call 415-927-5077 to sign up for one of the 1 hour training time slot.
Our first annual party was a great success. 75 people came, including 11 children. Everyone had fun meeting new or reconnecting with their neighbors.
Special thanks to Jacky Smith, Dale and Bruce Wheeler, Georgyn and Karl Hittelman, Lisa Blum, Ginger Kenney, and Brenda Brown for all your hard work organizing this event.
On June 16th, approximately 8 HVNRG members will attend this important training. If you are interested in getting first aid training, or know of a great course, please let us know.
This four-hour, skill-building workshop trains participants to recognize life threats in 15 seconds, protect an airway and stop bleeding.
Although designed for non-medical volunteers, many MDs, RNs and EMTs have attended the workshop and evaluated it as a timely and valuable update in knowledge and skills.
Marin Medical Reserve Corps MDs, RNs and EMTs lead the training and provide individual coaching. Marin County Department of Health & Human Services will provide Continuing Education Credits to MMRC RNs and EMTs who complete the class.
The focus is to build skills to help save a life in the first few minutes to hours after a major disaster, when 911 crews likely won’t be able to help everybody that needs help.
According to Firesafe Marin, Juniper is sometimes referred to as a "gasoline bush" by firefighters. It is particularly dangerous and should be removed within 30' or structures and 15' of roadways and driveways.
Before (left) After (right).
Limbing up and clearing branches from the roof and structure is an important step to create defensible space.
Before (left) After (right).