Mill Valley Tree Fire Ordinance

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At night when the wind blows above 30mph we need a dozen, or so, people to be called out, to watch  for smoke.  These Observers/Lookouts/Watchmen, spread out around the valley, will remain vigilant, from a good vantage point, throughout the night ready to call the Fire Service.

 Mill Valley Tree Fire Ordinance

They all must be chopped down  -- no matter where they are:

10 Best 2000 Watt Generators          What can the car and inverter actually power?

   History of Marin's High Winds      Video from security camera Coffey Park Fire

They saved a Mendocino County community from a hurricane of fire

Acacia Acacia Acacia  leaves

Acacia melanoxylon (Black Acacia) Cypress Italian Arborvitae (Thuja)

Scotch Broom Cypress Italion Gorse

Portuguese Broom Spanish Broom Bamboo

 The City Council introduced the Vegetation Management Ordinance at the August 5th meeting and will hold a Second Reading adopting the ordinance at their September 5th meeting.

The proposed ordinance would require:

1) The removal of the following ten plant types from all portions of properties within the WUI: Acacia, Bamboo, Arborvitae (Thuja), Italian Cypress, Junipers, French Broom, Portuguese Broom, Scotch Broom, Spanish Broom, and Gorse.

2) VOLUNTARY: The removal of all plantings and mulches (with limited exceptions granted by the Fire Chief) from within the first 3' of primary buildings (including attached decks) within the WUI to create a 3 foot wide clear area at the base of the building.

3) Redwood trees are specifically exempted from the regulations.

What's NOT in the WUI

Marin's Recommendation


State Bill AB 1516
A very high fire hazard severity zone, as designated by a local agency or within a state responsibility area, is to:
1. Maintain a surrounding defensible space of 100 feet .
2. More intense fuel reductions between 5 and 30 feet around the structure, and to create an ember-resistant zone within 5 feet of the structure.
The bill would impose a state-mandated local program. A repeated violation within a specified timeframe of those requirements is a crime.


What can the car and inverter actually power?
The inverter will convert your 12V DC from your car to 110V AC, but that doesn't mean you can power your whole house like normal. That's because your car's not a power plant and because of Watts, Amps, and other electrical goodies. If we think of electricity as water, Amps are the rate of flow of the water, Voltage is the pressure, and Watts are sort of the combined flow and pressure. The output from your car will vary based on the inverter, but let's use as an example a 440 Watt inverter, a type that's usually available for under 40 bucks or so.
If we divide Watts by the Voltage, we'll get Amps, which will help us figure out what we can run in our house. For a 440 W inverter, this would be:
440W / 110V AC = 4 Amps.
That's not a lot of Amps, so that's our limiting factor. Luckily, you can run a good number of things even with this low Amp rating. For example, a 60 Watt incandescent only uses about half an Amp. Your laptop's wall power requirements should only be about an Amp. A 42" Vizio LCD TV, and it only wants 2.5 Amps. Most modern electronic, solid-state devices don't require much. So you could have a light, a laptop, and a TV. 
Some solid-state electronic devices, like a microwave oven, do demand much more power, often around 18 amps or so. You usually can't run one of these from a consumer-grade inverter, so wrap your burrito in tinfoil and stick it on the exhaust manifold while your idling car is letting you watch old Perfect Strangers episodes from your emergency DVD stash.

What can't I power with my car?
The tricky parts come when you want to power anything with a motor. Motors often drive compressors, and are used in some of the things you want to keep on the most, like an air conditioner or refrigerator. The issue is motors have different, higher demands when they're getting started as when they're up and running. For example, when my refrigerator is running, it draws about 6.5 Amps. You could find a car inverter that could handle that. The problem is when you start a fridge, it will draw anywhere from between 2-4 times the normal load amperage to get the motor started. That's why your circuit breaker or fuse for your fridge is usually 20 Amps or higher— it needs to be able to handle that brief, intense start up.
So, unless your fridge has a starting crank, its unlikely you can run it from your car. There are special camper refrigerators that are designed for these lower-power situations, and those are a better bet. Along with refrigerators, washing machines' motors usually draw too much current, and space
heaters tend to be Amp hogs as well.


2000w Inverters $150 Over-Voltage, Short Circuit, Overload protection

With vehicle engine running - we recommend that only 2500 watt inverters and below be used on your truck or large vehicle. The alternator needs to keep up with the amps being used.

What is the Low Voltage Alarm & Shutdown?

The low voltage alarm will sound when the DC source falls below 10 volts and the automatic shutdown will power off the inverter. This is done to save your battery so you can restart your vehicle.

sine wave power inverters are more portable than pure sine wave power inverters, lighter, and lower in cost. If your device will handle voltage fluctuations, a modified sine wave inverter should be considered. Most devices that people typically wish to power will work fine with a modified sine wave inverter  . Pure sine wave power inverters allow motors to run cooler, last longer and provide very clean power like you would receive from a power company. Devices such as laser printers, digital clocks, and most medical equipment require a pure sine wave inverter to run correctly.

Batteries are capable of supplying large amounts of current, and thousands of amperes could be present if a short circuit were to occur. An overcurrent device is an effective line of defense against a short circuit occurrence. A circuit breaker should go on the positive cable, between the inverter and battery.  

The latest alternators are capable of supplying at least 100 amps with some vehicles equipped with alternators capable of 200 or more amps. The physical size of the alternator limits the maximum amperage output no matter the rpm. So alternator output is 14v giving 1,400w at 100a ( you might just be able to power that fridge after all ) a 2018 Ford Mustang alternator is rated at 135 amps,  truck alternators rated at 250 amps.
An alternator reaches max output at a relatively low RPM. Perhaps as low as engine idle speed on many cars. Is it only just the new Prius that, can provide AC output (inverted DC to AC) up to 1,500 watts of power ( 13 amps at 110 volts) for up to two days on a full tank of gasoline? No need to buy an inverter. When the batteries run low, the Prius automatically starts the engine to recharge the battery pack.

Wattage use of Appliances and Tools