On August 27th, a structure fire, adjacent to wild-lands, destroyed one condominium and damaged two others in the 110-unit Canon Village community in Fairfax. The fire started in a 5-unit structure. The Ross Valley Fire Department successfully limited the fire to only part of that single structure and less than 100 feet of the wild-lands behind the structure.
During the summer, Canon Village was fortunate to be included in a goat and sheep grazing effort to create sufficient defensible space at the wild-land interface. One might think that defensible space would only protect development from wild-land originated fires, but as the Ross Valley Fire Department stated on Facebook in reference to the fire:
“Sometimes defensible space works both ways, preventing a fire from spreading into the wildland vegetation where it would threaten more lives and property.”
It doesn’t take much to see that many communities would have been threatened if the fire had entered the Open Space between Fairfax and Sleepy Hollow. Generously, the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District, teamed with FIRESafe Marin, organized the major defensible space goat/sheep project to include some neighboring communities and schools. This generosity has paid off not only for Canon Village, but for all nearby communities.
It appears that it serves everyone's best interests to coordinate our efforts. Perhaps, fire prevention is something that can bring separated communities together.