Agriculture, Climate

Fire Preparedness in West Marin

August 21, 2020

The threat of wildland fires and precautionary power shut offs are a reality of living in California, threatening rural communities, urban areas, remote forests and rangeland alike. As we adjust to this new normal, MALT has compiled resources for community members and ranchers, with a focus on landowners who — in the event of fire in West Marin — have the added considerations of protecting their land, livestock and livelihoods.

While it is hard to prepare for any natural disaster, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t say this: prevention is the best “plan.” Smart grazing, diligent rangeland management and water security projects — all of which build your land’s resilience to drought and fire — are within MALT’s wheelhouse of skills. Read more here about the land stewardship services MALT offers.

In the event of an active fire in West Marin, evacuations orders and/or power outages, here are some resources that we’ve found helpful:

Safety Updates

Safety and Power Outage Updates

Livestock Care and Safety during a Fire in West Marin

If you have to evacuate your ranch, we recommend having a plan for your livestock. In grasslands they typically can find their way to safety — open gates and ensure they have access to fresh water. Remember that since ungulates evolved with natural occurring fires, their instincts are typically better than ours. Fires often pass through rangeland so quickly that the animals can find safety in already-burned areas and withstand the brief exposure.

If you choose to attempt to evacuate your livestock, here are some resources to consider:

Water Sources for Livestock

Pumps often fail during power outages. If you need help pumping water for livestock, we recommend contacting a local pump and well company or working with your electrician.

NorCal Pump Works

Jerry and Don’s Pump and Well Service

Tim McCloskey Electric, Inc.

Additional Resources to Plan for Drought

We welcome your input! Please send us resources you’ve found helpful concerning fire in West Marin and we can include them in this post so that others will have access as well.