Weed Abatement

The City’s Weed Abatement Program is governed by the Murrieta Municipal Code, Title 8, Chapter 8.32. Property owners in the City of Murrieta are required to maintain their property in a clean and safe condition throughout the entire year. This responsibility is especially important during the fire season, from March through September, to keep our community safe. 

The Murrieta Fire Department is responsible for inspecting vacant property over one acre. For 2016, inspections will begin after May 15, to allow property owners adequate time for maintenance. 

Violations

If the property is found to be in violation of the Municipal Code, the property owner will be notified by mail to promptly address the violation. If no visible attempt is made to clean up the property within 15 days, the City will abate the property and bill the property owner for the abatement cost, plus an administrative fee of $220.

Regulations

Properties Five Acres in Size or Less

  • All weeds must be abated.
  • Dicing, mowing, or weed whacking is acceptable.

Note:  Mowing must be completed in such a manner that the remaining weeds/vegetation are less than 4 inches in height. For safety reasons, mowing should occur in the morning between 8:30 and 11 a.m.

Properties Over Five Acres in Size

  • Minimum 100 feet firebreak, along the perimeter and through the parcel, so that no portion is larger than 2.5 acres.

Hillside Residential Properties

  • Structures or improvements must have 100 feet of clearance from any flammable/combustible material or dry weeds or vegetation.

Agricultural Property

  • Minimum 30 feet firebreak along the perimeter from the edge of the road.
  • Minimum 100 feet firebreak from the improved property.

Humidity

During warm days, especially when humidity is below 20 percent, do not mow. Fires can be started by mowing during high-risk fire weather conditions.

Vegetation

Due to uncontrolled regrowth of weeds and vegetation, it may be necessary to abate your property several times during the year.All dead, dying, or diseased trees and shrubs must be removed! Unfortunately, some of the vegetation has gone from being decorative to becoming a potential fire hazard, such as the:

  • California Pepper
  • Certain Acacia species
  • Eucalyptus
  • Oaks
  • Oleander
  • Pin

This past year, there has been an increase in the amount of tree and shrub mortality brought on by prolonged drought, insect infestation, disease, and lack of maintenance. Remove all dead and diseased vegetation within 100 feet from your home to reduce the exposure.

Other Things to Watch Out For

  • Tree branches must be trimmed back at least 10 feet from rooftops and fireplace chimneys.
  • Propane tanks need 10 feet of clearance from combustible material and vegetation.
  • Move woodpiles and trash cans away from your home. Firewood must be neatly stacked and have a minimum of 30 feet of clearance from a structure. When possible, trash enclosures or trash can storage should be 10 feet away from a structure. Remember to keep lids on all trash cans.
  • Combustible mulch or wood chips should not be closer than 12 inches to prevent a fire from being transmitted to an exterior wall.

Learn More About Maintaining Property

To learn more about maintaining a property in a fire safe manner, visit the California Fire Safe Council website. Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks for wildfire safety by involving:

  • Community leaders
  • Developers
  • Homeowners
  • Planners
  • And others