About

Robert Sieben - buffer zone

The author selectively removing invasive grasses from a prized stand of California fescue, a naturally occurring native bunch grass whose deep roots help hold the soil on this steep slope. Goats would have eaten this if grazed here .

The information on this site was developed by a homeowner for the homeowner. Dr. Robert Sieben is a resident of Hiller Highlands Homeowners Association, Phase V (HHV), consisting of 100 townhouses near the epicenter of the catastrophic Oakland 1991 firestorm.  These homes burned within 20 minutes as dry northeasterly Diablo winds rapidly spread the conflagration to areas throughout the nearby hills and across two major highways to 3,500 homes.

Dr. Sieben has been the volunteer coordinator of fire prevention for HHV since 1998. These guidelines represent what he has learned from many thousands of hours of hands-on experience managing fire-prone vegetation on the large, steep slopes of the HHV common property.

Sieben is an associate member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a founding member of the Oakland Firesafe Council. He completed the two-day National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) course, “Assessing Wildfire Hazards in a Home Ignition Zone,” with certification by the NFPA. He served four terms on the Advisory Committee of the Oakland Wildfire Prevention Assessment District, which he chaired, and also serves on the North Hills Community Association, chairing its fire prevention committee. He is committed to informing homeowners about what they themselves can do to protect their homes from wildfire.