Vegetation Management Program

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Vegetation Management Program

The Cosumnes Fire Department ("Department") is committed to reducing the risk of fire in Elk Grove and Galt each fire season (generally April through October). This is accomplished through the Vegetation Management Program. 

Step 1: 1st Inspection and Courtesy Notice

  • 1st Inspection - the Department will conduct initial, pre-season, inspections of large lots for tall grass/weeds that are not in compliance with the Vegetation Management Program guidelines ("Program").
  • Courtesy Notice - parcels identified during the initial inspections will be mailed a Courtesy Notice.  This notice reminds property owners that overgrown weeds must be abated before the fire season begins.

Step 2: 2nd Inspection and 30-Day Notice to Correct

  • 2nd inspections - previously identified lots will be inspected for compliance with the Program.
  • 30-Day Notice to Correct - a letter will be mailed in May/June to each property owner identified during the 2nd inspection who are not in compliance. Property owners are given 30 days to abate weeds on their property.

Step 3: 3rd Inspection, Administrative Violation, Fines, and Notice to Abate

  • 3rd Inspection - 30 days after the issuance of a 30-Day Notice to Correct Letters, previously identified lots will be inspected for compliance with the Program.
  • Administrative Violation - notices will be mailed and fines levied to property owners who have not complied with the 30-Day Notice to Correct Letter.  A Notice to Abate will be issued at this time, advising property owners that the Department will schedule the abatement of the property in 15 days, if not abated during that time, additional fees will be levied.

Step 4 - 4th Inspection, Contractor Abatement, Additional Fines, and Costs

  • 4th Inspection/Contractor Abatement - 15 days after issuance of the Administrative Violation and Notice to Abate the Department will inspect properties.  Properties out of compliance with the Program guidelines will be abated by a Department-approved contractor.  All costs associated with the abatement of the property and additional fines will be borne by the property owner.

Ordinance Requirements

The vegetation management program requires parcels of 2 acres or less to have weeds no taller than 2 inches. Parcels larger than 2 acres must have a 30-foot fire break around all structures. For further details, please reference the Vegetation Management Guidelines (PDF).

Reducing Fire Hazards

The goal of the Cosumnes Fire Department is to reduce the risk of fire hazards only. Although some parcels may be unsightly, they might not constitute a fire hazard.

Fire hazards exist when overgrown weeds, brush, or trimmings are adjacent to, or could potentially threaten, structures such as dwellings, barns, outbuildings, or vehicles.

The State of California, Cal Fire provides a Homeowners Checklist on how to make your home fire safe.

Submit a Complaint

Complaints regarding fire hazards may be submitted to the Fire Prevention Bureau:

On-Site Inspection

An on-site inspection will be conducted to determine if a parcel requires weed abatement in order to protect nearby structures or wooden fences from fire.

Due to laws prohibiting illegal searches, all weed violations must be visible from the street. The Fire Prevention Bureau will not climb or look over fences, nor enter a residence or backyard to confirm weed abatement complaints.

How to Abate Safely

If the parcel is determined to be a fire hazard, the owner/tenant will be required to abate the hazard by discing/mowing, providing defensible space, or clearing brush or trimmings. Please use equipment in a safe and responsible manner. Visit the Prevent Wildfire California website for information on the safe use of equipment.