• Pasadena Fire Department

Pasadena Fire Department

  • Hazardous Vegetation Program

    Fire Prevention Partnership

    A working partnership between property owners, their neighbors and the City of Pasadena is the best defense against disastrous fires.

    Pasadena's Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance is designed to minimize fire danger by controlling the density and placement of flammable vegetation.

    It does not recommend indiscriminate clearing of native chaparral and other vegetation that ploys an important role in erosion control and fire hazard reduction which can be achieved if all members of the Fire Prevention Partnership do their part.

    The ordinance requires property owners to:

    • Remove all dead trees and keep grasses and weeds mowed within 100 feet of any building (including those on adjacent property), and within 10 feet of any roadway used for vehicular travel. This does not apply to ornamental shrubbery, trees or cultivated ground cover. In extremely hazardous areas, distances up to 200 feet from a structure and 50 feet from a fence or roadway may be required by the Fire Department.
    • Grasses and other vegetation located more than 30 feet from any building and less than 18 inches in height may be maintained where necessary to stabilize soil and prevent erosion. Large trees and shrubs in that area should be 18 feet apart.
    • Remove leafy foliage, deadwood, combustible ground cover, twigs or branches within three (3) feet of the ground from mature trees located within 100 feet of any building or within 10 feet of any roadway used for vehicular travel.
    • Remove dead limbs. branches and other combustible matter from trees or other growing vegetation adjacent to or overhanging any structure.
    • Remove any portion of a tree which extends within 10 feet of a chimney or stovepipe. Trim and maintain all vegetation away from curbline up to a height of 13.5 feet to accommodate emergency vehicles.
    • Maintain five (5) feet of vertical clearance between roof surfaces and any overhanging portions of trees.

    These minimum standards are established to provide reasonable measures of controlling both fire and erosion hazards and to protect lives and property. Pasadena Fire Department personnel may introduce greater protection levels in high danger areas.


    The goal of the Pasadena Fire Deportment is to establish a fire-safe community through voluntary compliance of informed property owners and residents.

    • Fire inspectors look at property to determine hazard levels.
    • Owners of property on which hazardous vegetation condition exists are asked to correct the problem.
    • If a property owner does not comply with the ordinance, a contractor will be hired to complete the necessary work.
    • Inspection and administration fees will be charged and the cost of correcting the hazard will be recovered as stated in the ordinance.

    Enforcement involves several steps. They are: 

      Where a hazard exists, the Pasadena Fire Department issues a notice to the owner of record requiring an abatement within 30 days. The notice will be posted on the property and mailed to the owner if a mailing address is available. No fee will be charged for this initial inspection .
      In the event that the violations identified to the property owner are not abated within the allotted time period, the property owner shall be charged, in addition to the initial inspection fee of $61.00, a reinspection fee of $298.00 which shall compensate the city for two reinspections, evidentiary photography as well as processing of misdemeanor charges and of necessary documentation and follow-up by the fire prevention inspector.
      Should more that 2 reinspections of a parcel be necessitated by the failure of the property owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter, an additional fee of $142.00 will be assessed for each such additional inspection.(Ord. 6444 § 2 (part), 1991)

    Emergency Enforcement

    The Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance provides that where the Fire Chief or his designee determines that the condition of a structure or property poses an immediate hazard to life or property, emergency action may be taken.

    In such cases, efforts will be mode to contact the property owner and to request voluntary removal of the hazard at least 24 hours before abatement work is done.

    Hazardous Vegetation Program

    Pasadena residents and property owners con not ignore the fact that dry. poorly maintained vegetation creates an extreme fire danger to their homes.

    Well-placed, well-maintained vegetation beautifies and controls erosion in residential neighborhoods. Poorly maintained vegetation is a natural, volatile fuel for fast-spreading wildfire - an invitation to disaster.

    Property owners and residents can help protect their homes by joining in partnership with their neighbors and the City to assure compliance with the City's Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance, as outlined here.

    The goals are to maintain trees and vegetation that beautify and benefit a property, and to remove hazardous vegetation that provides a combustible fuel supply for wildfire. This is important to every resident of Pasadena, where the fire season is year round.

    The Pasadena Fire Department wants to work with you to create the most fire-safe community possible. Department personnel welcome your questions and invitations to discuss vegetation management and other fire-related issues with organizations or individuals. Call: (626) 744-4668 or (626) 744-4655 for additional information or to arrange for a meeting with a Fire Department representative.

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