The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has allocated nearly $750,000 to the Southern Marin Fire Protection District to create a 4.5-mile fuel break between the densely forested Golden Gate National Recreation Area and about 2,500 homes in the Tamalpais Valley neighborhood, according to the Marin IJ.

“It’s by far the highest-hazard area for us on the coastal side,” Fred Hilliard, the district fire marshal, told the IJ. “If a fire were to start on the coast and then burn into the valley, it would cause a lot of destruction and loss of property in this area.”

The district plans to hire private contractors to take on the work, which includes clearing vegetation and thinning trees, Hilliard said. He noted that native and fire-resistant plants won’t be removed, and workers will replant portions of the area. The work is expected to start in 2021, with completion set for the end of 2023. The total cost of the project is estimated at $843,098, and the grant money will be supplemented by private donations and a $30,000 contribution from the fire district, according to Hilliard.

“A lot of time and effort went into planning and applying for these grants, we are very thankful for the support,” Marin County fire Chief Jason Weber said in a statement.

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