Frequently Asked Questions

What is Weed Abatement?

Weed abatement is the actual removal of combustible growth and material from property actual removal of weeds and/or rubbish as performed by the parcel owner or a contractor hired by the parcel owner. Parcels that are not in compliance and have received notices and have not taken action to comply with their notices will be sent to a contractor hired by the City of Colton Fire Department. The parcel owner will be held responsible for all costs incurred including contractors’ fees and administrative fees including the initial inspection fees, reinspection fees, the investigation, inspection, preparation, service, and/or publication or administrative notices and other related clerical costs performed by the Fire Department.

Does the Fire Department spray for weeds or perform the removal of weeds/rubbish?

No. The property owner is responsible for removal of weeds/rubbish. The Fire Department inspects the property for compliance and will refer to the city appointed contractor if necessary.

What do I do if I receive a notice?

Each year, information regarding the weed abatement program is provided at City Council and messaged to the public through various methods including courtesy notices, social media, and our website. Please inspect your property and take whatever actions are necessary to bring your property into compliance before it is inspected.

Inspect your property frequently throughout the year. You are required to maintain your property year-round.

  • If the property is maintained properly and is in compliance when inspected by the City, owners will not be charged for the inspection.
  • If a property is not in compliance when inspected by the City, the property will be forwarded to the city appointed contractor for abatement of the property, at the property owner’s expense, in addition to any other charges and all expenses related to the inspections of the property.

If you are maintaining your property to be in compliance, we thank you and appreciate your fire prevention efforts.

Can I dispute a violation or an invoice?

  • Yes. You must provide the following information in writing:
  • Parcel number
  • Photo documentation that your issues have been resolved per the requirements of the Ordinance
  • Any receipts and/or evidence that you have that pertain to the resolution of the issue
  • A signed letter explaining why you are disputing the violation
  • Send to:

City of Colton Fire Department
Weed Abatement: Dispute
303 East E Street
Colton, CA 92324

What if I am the new owner, and the previous notices were not received by me?

We ask that you dispute that charges following the instructions above. The charges will follow the parcel and may be added to the tax roll for that property. Any previous owner information is helpful.

What if the parcel is owned by a group/corporation, and I was not receiving my mail at my mailing address?

The mailing address is provided through the County Assessor’s Office that the group/corporation designated. The group/corporation is still responsible for any and all costs incurred for the parcel. It is strongly recommended that any changes are updated at the County Recorder’s Office.

What are the Fire Department’s guidelines for property clearance?

  • Parcels less than five (5) acres:
    • All weeds and trash, on entire property, must be abated
    • Disking is the preferred method but mowing or weed whacking may be acceptable when disking is not feasible. Disking the center of the property and leaving weeds around all edges is not an acceptable method of abatement. If this condition is found after the due date, the remainder of the property will be abated by the city appointed contractor.
  • Parcels greater than five (5) acres:
    • 100-foot minimum fire break is required along the perimeter of the parcel
    • Multiple parcels owned by the same party must be cleared per the guidelines for individual parcel size. Conjoined parcels may not be abated as one large parcel
    • Roadways intersecting parcels must have a minimum clearance of 20 feet on either side
    • Power poles must have 10 feet of clearance around the circumference of the pole/tower and 10 feet of horizontal clearance directly under power lines
  • Defensible Space Zones for Residences:
    • Maintain 30 feet to 100 feet clearance from buildings structures and decks
      • Cut or mow grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches (this is a year-round requirement)
      • Remove all dead or dying vegetation
      • Remove leaves and pine needles from yard, roof, and rain gutters
      • Remove combustible material under and around decks
      • Remove or prune vegetation around windows
      • Remove low-level vegetation which can potentially cause fire spread
      • Create a separation between low-level vegetation and tree branches
      • Trim tree or thin tree canopies regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees or spaced three times the size of tree
      • Tree branches, limbs, and palm fronds are required to have vertical clearance from the ground, so they are greater than 6 feet from the ground or 1/3 of the tree’s height, whichever is less.
      • Trim trees back 10 feet from chimney