Vegetation Management Services

Hazardous Fuel Reduction Program

Hazardous Vegetation Inspection & Abatement

Inspectors from Sonoma County and local Fire Districts inspect properties for compliance with the Sonoma County Fire Safety Ordinance. Selected properties zoned for 5 acres or less in size that are not within city limits (improved and unimproved) are part of the inspection program.

Free Chipper Program

Our free chipping program is available to help county residents in areas at risk to wildfire comply with defensible space regulations. See our program guidelines for eligibility and what can go in the chipper piles.

Weed Complaints & Abatement

The Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division will conduct weed complaint inspections for parcels located in the Local Response Area (LRA) within Sonoma County Volunteer Fire Company Jurisdiction only. All areas within the State Responsibility Area (SRA) are conducted by Cal Fire when the property is subject to state regulations. For parcels located in a fire district, you must contact the fire district directly.

Vegetation Management Plans

Construction projects located in High and Very High Fire Severity Zones are required by ordinance and state codes to have a detailed vegetation management plan developed and reviewed by the Fire Prevention Division before a building permit will be issued.

The Vegetation Management Planning Requirements contains more detailed information regarding compliance with the Vegetation Management standards.

An on-site fire hazard assessment and consultation specific to your project can be performed by Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division staff. An inspection will always be performed at the completion of any permitted project for compliance with the Public Resources Code 4291. If you request an on-site assessment, it will result in a written report containing minimum requirements for your Vegetation Management and Defensible Space Plan.

Vegetation Management Plans for projects not located in a high or very high fire severity zone can be completed by following the minimum guidelines located on the Cal Fire website or by following the Living With Fire in Sonoma County homeowner's guide (PDF).

Plans can be developed by the following:

  • Arborist
  • Landscape Architect
  • A qualified individual approved by the Fire Prevention Division

Fire Prevention Division Staff will also provide the same service. A 2 hour minimum (up to 5 hours maximum) fee is charged for this service, based on the inspection hourly rate. This service includes an on-site consultation, creation of a report specific to your fire hazard reduction requirements, normal driving time, plan review and follow-up telephone consultation as necessary. This maximum does not apply to commercial developments.

What the Report Should Provide

The fire hazard assessment report shall provide information necessary for you to complete the Vegetation Management Site Plan and Written Narrative. Once the Vegetation Management Plan has been submitted and approved, it will be your guide in completing the physical work of vegetation modification and establishment of required Defensible Space Zones on your site.

Defensible space will be inspected as part of the building permit application. Projects meeting the recommendations in the report will be allowed final occupancy. Projects needing additional clearances and management as outlined in the approved plan will be given temporary occupancy until work is completed.

For questions or appointment call our office at (707) 565-1152 to speak with a vegetation management specialist.

Contact Information

James Williams
Fire Marshal

Permit and Resource Management Department

County of Sonoma

Contact us by Phone
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM