SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A new app has been launched that could help cut down the fire danger in the South Bay by targeting areas and properties overgrown with weeds.
“Weeds and grass are really a flash fuel,” said Moe Kumre, Manager of Santa Clara County’s Weed Abatement Program.
The new app called Weed Hazard and is available in Apple Store and on Google Play.
It was designed to quickly let you photograph and report a dangerous situation with just a couple of clicks. You can even do it anonymously.
The app also includes links to FAQs, information and even local weed abatement contractors.
“The main purpose is to make sure that any fire that starts on wildlands doesn’t spread to residential properties,” Kumre said.
Santa Clara County has already had a couple of hillside fires this year. One that broke out last week was kept in check by firefighters and by homeowners who trimmed their surrounding properties.
“We love living up here for the views and we have hills but we want to make sure the grass around our houses is manicured and taken care of,” said Bev Jackson, who lives in the East Foothills area.
Concerned neighbors could use the app to, in effect, “rat out” their neighbors who are not taking care of their property.
“Even if someone were to rat out their neighbor, I would have to then go verify that there is a problem there. If I don’t, the neighbor never hears from me,” Kumre said. “But if there is, then, thank you for ratting out the neighbor. Because it’s important.”
Property owners put on notice by the county to trim weeds could face up to $1,400 in fees in addition to the cutting costs if they don’t act quickly.