Fire Fuel Reduction & Weed Control
...are you Rocklin Ready?

General information

Are you Rocklin Ready? Property Clearing Zones

Open spaces are valued for their nature and beauty; if we choose to live within these areas we must do our part to protect our homes and our community. Living within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) provides us with a sense of nature, yet there are dangers that must be mitigated and each of us should do our part. In the over 4,000 acres of undeveloped land within the City of Rocklin, fire fuel reduction activities are a must.

Small Lot Requirements

Lots 0.50 acres or less must:

  • Mow grass/weeds to a height of less than 4 inches
  • Remove all flammable vegetation (dead or dying vegetation) from the property. 

Other guidelines:

  • Keep trees trimmed at least 10 feet from chimneys

Large Lot Requirements

Lots greater than 0.50 acres are required to:

  • Mow grass/weeds to a height of less than 4 inches
  • Remove all flammable vegetation (dead or dying vegetation) within a 100 feet of any structure, or to the property line, whichever is least. 
  • Keep trees trimmed at least 10 feet from chimneys
  • If property lines extend beyond 100 feet from structures, a 20-foot perimeter at the property’s edge must be cleared of flammable vegetation and material

Fire Fuel Reduction

Wildland Urban Interface (WUI):

The wildland/urban interface is any location where a fire can spread from vegetation (wildland fuels) to buildings (urban fuels), resulting in multiple house fires that overwhelm fire protection efforts. We may not be able to stop wildfires but we can mitigate that risk by planning and proper fuel management. Creating a defensible space around our homes may help to reduce risk to our lives, properties, community, firefighters; and it is the law.

As a resident and/ or owner of property near or adjacent to wildland areas, you are required by California’s Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 4291, to maintain a defensible space around your house and other structures. Included are additional requirements under the California Fire Code (CFC), and California Building Code (CBC).  Completing these items increases the chances that your home will survive a wildfire, and will reduce the danger to firefighters, neighbors, and surrounding natural resources. The attached Defensible Space Checklist will help you determine what you need to do to comply with the law and reduce your vulnerability to the threat of wildfire.

What is “Defensible Space?”

“Defensible space” is a perimeter created around a structure where vegetation is treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire towards a structure, reduce the chance of a structure fire burning to the surrounding area, and provides a safe perimeter for firefighters to protect a structure.

Once you have completed the assessment, you will have a better idea of the scope of your project, and you can prioritize your next steps. Don’t be overly concerned if the size of the project seems daunting. The goal is to take this one step at a time. Your priorities should focus on making the most impact with the least amount of effort. 

What Is Weed Abatement?

In the City of Rocklin, all vacant parcels shall be abated (weeds cut down, trash removed, and/or firebreaks created to limit any potential fire hazard and allow access for fire fighting operations) on a year-round basis as per the City’s Vacant Parcel Standards.

In April of each year, the owners of vacant parcels are notified, by letter, of their responsibility to abate their property.  This letter includes the cost schedule and the Notice of Intent, requesting the vacant parcel owner to check which option they will use to abatement their property and then mail or fax to the Public Services Department.  In May, a second reminder letter is sent via certified mail to property owners that have not returned the Notice of Intent

What Happens If Weeds Are Not Taken Care Of?

By the end of May, all vacant parcels that do not comply with the Standards for Maintenance of Vacant Parcels are declared a nuisance by the City Council. These parcels will be abated by the weed control contractor hired by the City to perform the necessary weed abatement. When the contractor invoices the City for the abatement work, the City, in turn, invoices the property owner for the contractor’s fees plus a per-parcel administrative charge according to the cost schedule below.  If the property owner does not pay these fees, the City places a lien on the property until the fees are collected. The City’s Weed Abatement Contractor is Scott & Sons Weed Control.

  • City Administrative Fee: $179
  • Handwork: $1,700 per acre
  • Tractor Mowing: $300 per acre
  • Discing: $165 per hour

Additional Resources

Rocklin residents and property owners are required to follow Rocklin Municipal Code 8.10 – 8-12 and related California Laws, which details the rules for property maintenance.

Citywide Fuel Load Reduction Guidelines

CalFire’s Wildfire Website is a *great resource for learning more about wildfire preparation and prevention.

*NOTE: Rocklin’s municipal property clearing rules differ somewhat from state guidelines.