Weed Abatement Program Information
The Weed Abatement Program will start FEBRUARY 2022. Please contact the Weed Abatement Coordinator for any questions at (909) 931-4134.
Weed Abatement has evolved as communities have changed over time. At one-point, local municipalities used Weed Abatement as a method to reduce fuels on large vacant fields that could potentially ignite causing fires and damage to structures and threaten lives. Weed Abatement activities were typically performed using tractors but is now mainly performed with landscaping and hand tools. As Upland changed from large vacant fields to developed areas with residential neighborhoods and commercial complexes, the need for tractors to reduce the fuel on vacant lots has diminished yet the need for fuels reduction has not.
There are large portions of San Bernardino County still located within high fire severity zones; these include areas of Upland. Upland’s high fire severity zones mean that there is a high level of fire risk based on existing and potential fuel (natural vegetation), blowing embers, terrain, and the typical fire weather for the area. Regardless of the fire zone, Weed Abatement; also referred to as “Fuels Reduction,” is important everywhere in Upland.
As property owners, you can reduce the devastation brought on by wildfire. You can protect Upland’s first responders and provide a safer community; however, it means some work and maintenance is required on your part.
Often, the public thinks that the only communities at risk of severe wildfires are mountain communities. However, recent experience has demonstrated that all areas: mountain, foothill, and valley regions in San Bernardino County, with overgrown dried vegetation, are at risk of severe fire danger and must prepare for fire on an annual basis.
Here are a few basic activities that you can do that will provide big impacts toward a more defensible property during a fire.
- Clear all dead and dying vegetation from your property.
- Clear all dead and dying material in your live vegetation, especially under shrubs and bushes.
- Keep grasses low and trees high. Note, the flame length for burning grass is 4 times the height of the grass. Additionally, to keep fire out of the trees, limb the trees up.
- Provide separation between vegetation, so you don’t have one continuous fuel source straight to your house.
- Leave defensible space. This is an area between your vegetation and your house, that allows firefighters to do their job safely.
- Leave clearance on the side yard. This way, first responders can get to the back should the fire be in your backyard.
- Remove all combustible debris from your property. Don’t leave something in your yard that will add fuel to the fire.
By implementing defensible property activities, you can reduce available fuels that contribute to the destructive nature of wildfires.
Weed Abatement Process
The Upland Weed Abatement Program follows much of the State of California Weed and Rubbish Abatement Code that is Title 4, Division 3, Part 2, Chapter 13 of the California Code.
STEP ONE: The Upland Weed Abatement Program begins with a Resolution declaring that weeds, grasses, and vegetation that are unmaintained, dead, or dying and combustible debris/fire hazards are not allowed in the City of Upland. This Resolution is approved and adopted by the Upland City Council at a public meeting. This initiates the start of the Weed Abatement Program in the City of Upland.
STEP TWO: The first notice is sent various ways depending on how you receive or pay your water bill. Your first notice is included in your water bill or mailed directly to you if you don’t have water service. Every property owner will receive this information via mail, website, or social media.
STEP THREE: A Weed Abatement Inspection is conducted on each parcel located within the city limits. Most inspections are windshield inspections but on occasion an inspection might require a meeting with the property owner on site. If it is determined that an inspection would require a meeting on site, the property owner would receive a written request.
STEP FOUR: If the Weed Abatement Inspectors find a violation on your property, you will receive a “Notice to Remove/Maintain” with photos and you will incur a $72.00 administrative fee for services rendered to this point. You will have 10 days to comply with the “Notice to Remove/Maintain”. You will have the opportunity to contest the notice and the $72.00 administrative fee at a City Council Public Hearing. The hearing date and time will be available on your “Notice to Remove/Maintain”.
A final inspection is conducted after the 10-day due date.
If the violation is not corrected a contractor will be assigned by the City of Upland Weed Abatement Program Coordinator to complete the abatement. There will be contractor fees and additional administrative fees added to the $72.00 administrative fee incurred in the beginning of the process. You will have the opportunity to contest this action and the fees and costs associated at a City Council Public Hearing. The hearing date and time will be available to you on an Invoice Letter sent to you.
STEP FIVE: The City Council will approve the costs incurred for the Weed Abatement actions and order that the costs incurred be placed on the property owners bill as a special assessment.
STEP SIX: The parcel information and costs incurred are sent to the San Bernardino County Tax Collector who will place the cost as a special assessment on the property owners, property tax bill, for the subject parcel.