McCloud ordinance will ask residents to be fire safe

Shareen Strauss

McCloud residents will be asked to be more fire safe under the new McCloud Community Services District Hazardous Vegetation and Combustible Material Abatement Ordinance, which was discussed during the district’s most recent meeting on Aug. 26.

According to the Wildland-Urban Interface, McCloud is designated as a “very high hazard severity zone” due to the dense vegetation in the surrounding wildland, which encompasses 70 percent of the MCSD. This includes the 37 businesses, more than 500 homes (approximately 386 full time residents and 198 second homes or vacation rentals), five apartment buildings, 178 vacant lots, three RV parks, four churches, and two schools.

The purpose of the code is to establish the minimum requirement consistent with the State of California and other nationally recognized good practices to safeguard public health, safety and general welfare from the hazards of fire and to provide safety and assistance to firefighters.

Copied from Lake Shastina’s ordinance and supported by the McCloud Fire Safe Council, the codes were taken from sections of the California Fire Code, the California Government Code and the California Building Code.

This includes vegetation clearance and 100 feet of defensible space, reducing plant density and maintaining fewer flammable shrubs, removal of dead materials such as leaves from roofs and gutters of structures. Additionally, all chimneys that burn solid fuel shall be equipped with an approved spark arrestor. A more detailed list will be available at the MCSD office.

Enforcement of compliance will be administered by the McCloud Fire Department Chief or his designee. Any property that is in violation will receive a written notice of the codes of the ordinance describing the conditions deemed unsafe.

“Embers from wildland fires travel far,” said Ron Berryman of the McCloud Fire Safe Council. “The firebreak around McCloud won’t stop the embers. We need to be more fire safe around our properties and everyone needs to be doing their part.”

For further development on this ordinance, the next MCSD board meeting will be held on Sept. 9.

In other business, effective Oct. 4, solid waste prices will increase according to a Siskiyou County ordinance. The county is raising their fees at the transfer stations, which includes Oberlin Road Solid Waste/Recycling Facility, Black Butte Transfer/Recycling Station, Tulelake Transfer/Recycling Station and Salmon River Refuse Collection.

For more information on the County ordinance visit or call (530) 842-8220.