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Prescribed Fire to Occur Oct. 18 on Mt. Tam Watershed

Five fire fighters stand on a dry grassy hill with a graphic overlay that reads: "JOINT NEWS RELEASE" with the Marin County Fire Dept. and Marin Water logos.

Oct. 18, 2023

Corte Madera – The Marin County Fire Department will conduct a prescribed fire today – Wednesday, October 18 – on the Mount Tamalpais Watershed in coordination with Marin Water.

The operation will take place in the Rock Spring area of the watershed, between Stinson Beach and Mill Valley, and residents may see or smell smoke from the burn even from several miles away. The community is asked to refrain from calling 911 to report smoke coming from the planned burn area to avoid overwhelming emergency dispatch lines.

The following portions of the Mt. Tam Watershed will have limited access during the prescribed fire – residents and visitors are reminded to please heed trail closure signage in these locations:

  • Rock Spring Trail between the Cataract Trail to East Ridgecrest Boulevard
  • Cataract Trail from the Rock Spring Trailhead (parking lot) to the Ray Murphy Trail (Laurel Dell)
  • Simmons Trail from the Cataract Trail to the Benstein Trail

Designed to combat overgrown vegetation and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, the prescribed fire operation will be closely monitored by trained wildland firefighters and will strictly adhere to the requirements of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

As with other vegetation management approaches, such as goat grazing and hand crews, prescribed fire creates critical fuel breaks that can slow advancing wildfires, protect neighboring communities and leave less dense, more resilient woodlands behind.

Marin County and Marin Water wish to thank the Cal FIRE Forest Health Grant Program, which is providing funding to support this important work.

Marin County Fire, in coordination with Marin Water, may conduct more prescribed fire operations on the Mt. Tam Watershed in the years to come as both agencies work to bolster the resiliency of local wildland areas.

Learn more about prescribed fires on the fire department's vegetation management page.

Find out more about fire resiliency and forest health efforts on the Mt. Tam Watershed at