Reporting A Potential Fire HazardOne of the goals of your Yuba City Fire Department is to help keep our community as fire safe as possible. As Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth pound of cure”. So, while we will certainly respond to calls for emergency service as quickly as possible, the best scenario would be to prevent the event from happening in the first place. We do our best to identify and mitigate fire hazards as quickly as possible, but our community has grown so much that it is very difficult to visit every neighborhood as often as we would like. This is where you, our customers, can really help us. If you see something that just doesn’t look right to you and you feel it could pose a threat of fire, please let us know. The following questions provide you with some basic guidelines that we use to determine if a situation is a fire hazard:
Will the material readily ignite (is the grass green or brown (dry)?
If the material is dry, how large could the fire get?
Could a fire spread to structures on the site?
Could a fire spread to an adjacent parcel and damage other property?
Most of the calls we receive regard a concern in the caller’s neighborhood. While situations are always a little different, sometimes a simple conversation with the “offending” neighbor can resolve the issue. People get busy and defer maintenance or just don’t see things from their neighbor’s perspective “across the street”. Other times the person may realize they have a problem but can’t physically, or financially, correct it. In these situations a helping hand from a few neighbors might be all that is needed to fix the immediate problem. And, as a major additional benefit, you might get to know you neighbors a little better.
We have no right to enter private property (back yards for instance), without consent of the owner, to conduct an inspection. However, if the hazard can be seen from the street or other area, such as an adjoining neighbor’s backyard, we can proceed with the process.
Foreclosed properties are causing a great deal of concern right now. There are a large number of THEM within our jurisdiction, and tracking down the current owner (mortgage company) can sometimes be a real challenge. Depending on the severity of the hazard, it may take us 3-4 weeks to get the problem resolved.
Often we receive concerns about property that, upon investigation, do not quite make it to the level of a true “fire hazard”. In most instances, we turn these issues over to the City’s Community Development Department (or the County’s Community Services Department) to handle as a “public nuisance”. Public nuisances are problems such as unkept/unmowed yards (that don’t rise to the level of fire hazard), trash/junk in plain view, rodents, unmaintained or dilapidated buildings, etc.
From time to time we get concerns about weeds on sidewalks or other public ways. Unless these weeds pose a threat to adjacent land or structures, the concern should be relayed to the appropriate public works department (Yuba City or Sutter County).
If you have questions, or would like to report a concern, you may do so by calling the Yuba City Fire Department at 530.822.4686. Concerns can also be reported on yc311.