Weed Abatement Program Information
The Weed Abatement Program will start FEBRUARY 2023. 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.
2023 Weed Abatement Process
- A notification that weed abatement inspections will start on February 14, 2023, is sent in water bills, posted on the City of Upland website, social media, and posted on the City of Upland Marquee.
- Each parcel within the city limits will be inspected for the presence of any fire hazards or nuisances listed in the City’s Weed Abatement ordinance. Violations identified during this inspection will be evidenced by a written report and photographs.
As a result of this initial inspection, property owners who own parcels that do not adhere to the City’s Weed Abatement Ordinance will receive a “COURTESY NOTICE TO COMPLY”. The property owner will have 15 days from the postmarked “Courtesy Notice to Comply” letter to abate any fire hazards and nuisances without accruing administrative fees.
- A second inspection of the non-compliant properties will take place after the initial 15-day period noted in the Courtesy Notice to Comply. Cases of those property owners who have abated their fire hazards and nuisances from their properties will be closed. No further action is necessary. Administrative fee(s) will not be charged against the property.
For those, property owners whose properties remain out of compliance after the first 15-day period a second Notice to Comply will be sent. The second Notice to Comply will extend the due date to comply with the City Weed Abatement Ordinance by an additional 15 days (a total of 30 days from the date listed from the first notification). A $108.00 administrative fee will be assessed on the parcel. All fees will be placed on the property taxes with the San Bernardino County Tax Collector. If you choose to pay in person than please contact the Weed Abatement Coordinator for additional information.
Administrative fees included in the property owner’s water bill will not be accepted.
- Property owners who have received two Notices to Comply and have not abated the fire hazards and nuisances from their properties will be placed on a list of non-compliance of the City’s Weed Abatement Ordinance. This notice will be posted at City’s website and City Hall.
For those property owners who wish to contest these assessments, they may do so at the June 12, 2023, City Council Meeting.
For those property owners who have abated their fire hazards and nuisances, an administrative fee of $108.00 will be assessed on their property and their properties will be deemed in compliance with the City’s Weed Abatement Ordinance. No further action is required.
- For those properties who remain out of compliance with the City of Upland Weed Abatement Ordinance, a third inspection will be performed and a Notice to Abate will be issued to the property owner.
The City will contact an abatement service to bring the properties into compliance with the City Weed Abatement Ordinance. Costs (e.g., administrative fines, citations costs, and expenses) associated with the maintenance of the property will be the responsibility of the property owner. These costs will be assessed as a lien or a special assessment on the property.
Weed Abatement Resolution
City Council approved resolution No. 6637 for the annual Weed Abatement Program on February 28, 2022. Please click on the PDF below to view the Resolution.