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By Will Fritz
Staff Writer 

North County Fire extends weed abatement deadline


Last updated 5/21/2020 at 4:14am

Village News/Shane Gibson photo

Property owners have until June 1 to remove excessive weeds on their land.

The North County Fire Protection District has extended its weed abatement deadline from May 15 to June 1, the fire district announced last week.

The fire district requires local property owners to remove excessive weeds from their land and create "defensible space" in case of a wildfire.

Property owners who do not comply can be subject to cost recovery fees from the fire district.

The fire district began notifying property owners of the May 15 deadline back in March. The original deadline was a full month ahead of 2019's weed abatement deadline, in anticipation of dry weather leading to high levels of fire fuel. However, higher-than-expected rainfall has mitigated some of this risk, allowing the fire district to feel comfortable moving back the weed abatement deadline by two weeks.

"We made (the original deadline) in January and February when not a lot of rain was coming in and we were thinking it was gonna be drier," North County Fire Marshall Dominic Fieri said. "Once the season did come about with more rain, we were able to change."

In a statement, Fieri said: "the extension was given as a result of this season's fire weather forecast indicating that the recent rain storms will keep the fuel moisture level higher than what was projected earlier this year. This extension will allow property owners additional time to remove dead brush and create a defensible space in the event of a wildfire."

Fire prevention personnel will begin compliance inspections after the June 1 deadline has passed.

After the deadline, properties with excessive brush and lacking necessary defensible space that require additional inspections will be issued cost recovery fees, Fieri said.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at [email protected]


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