Audit Knocks Oakland (CA) Fire Department Vegetation Inspections

A recent audit by the California city of Oakland found that the fire department does not take vegetation inspections of properties seriously and fails to make property owners abate fire risks. And when the city paid to abate fire hazards, it has failed to recoup most of the costs.

The Oakland Tribune reported ( that Oakland ordered firefighters to conduct annual vegetation inspections of roughly 26,000 wildfire prone properties after the 1991 Hills fire that killed 25 people and destroyed more than 3,000 homes.

City Auditor Courtney Ruby urged politicians and city officials to engage residents about strengthening parking enforcement in Hills where parked cars on windy narrow roads can impede fire engines headed to a fire. The audit cited one instance of firefighters having to abandon their truck and run to their destination because their apparatus was blocked by a parked car..

Read more about the audit at

For more on wildland firefighting issues, consider Delivering a Wildland Fire Training Program to a Structural Fire Department, Drill of the Week: Wildland Firefighting Basics, Tactical Decision Points: Proactive Wildland Fire Risk Management, and Rapid Structure Triage for Wildland Operations.

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