For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Gil Dong, Fire Marshal, (510) 981-5502


Berkeley, California (Monday, June 12, 2006) - In cooperation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Alameda and Contra Costa County Fire Chiefs have declared the 2006 wildland fire season to officially begin on Monday, June 12th.

Heavier than normal winter and spring rain has boosted the growth of grasses and low-lying vegetation. The Berkeley Fire Department urges residents to maintain adequate clearance and defensible space around their homes and buildings by doing the following:

Clear flammable vegetation around structures to a minimum of 30 feet or to the property line.

Remove tree limbs within 10’ of any chimneys or stovepipes.

Remove pine needles and leaves from roofs, eaves, roof valleys, and rain gutters.

Remove dead tree limbs overhanging structures.

Ensure a half-inch metal wire mesh screen covers the chimney or flue outlet.

Always remember to “mow before 10 am.” Grass has the highest amount of moisture in the morning.

For more information, or to request a free copy of “Create Defendable Space to Protect Your Home from Wildfire,” call 510-981-5506. For website information about fire safety and fire resistant landscaping, visit the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection at, or the Diablo FireSafe Council at