Over the course of the year, the temperature in San Rafael typically varies from 42°F to 76°F and is rarely below 34°F or above 85°F. This pattern may be altered going forward by climate change.
The wind experienced at any given location in Country Club depends on local topography; wind speed and direction may vary more than reported averages. Wind speed is more volatile at ridge levels and above the canopy of vegetation.
The windier part of the year lasts for 5.5 months, from February 9 to July 26, with average wind speeds of more than 8.0 miles per hour. The calmer time of year lasts for 6.4 months, from July 26 to February 9.
The wind is often from the west for 9.3 months--from February 8 to November 16. The wind is often from the north for 2.7 months--from November 16 to February 8.
Because late fire season off shore winds can bring dry east and northeast winds, Country Club is vulnerable to wildfire when powerful downslope dry winds traverse from northeast to southwest. County Club borders wildfire hot-spot-ignition-prone areas at China Camp and university- city-and county-owned open space.
Country Club is surrounded by open space with ridges (up to 995 feet) and canyons to the north-east, making the area vulnerable to wildfires when powerful downslope dry winds blow from northeast to southwest.
Red Flag Warnings were issued throughout Marin County in September and October of 2019. A Red Flag Warning is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours. The type of weather patterns that can cause a warning include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of dry lightning strikes, or a combination of any of the above. The humidity level in San Rafael is consistently very low throughout the year.
The topography varies in Country Club. Some homes are in flat areas (elevation 5 ft.) and others are on steep slopes (as high as 700 feet). Steep slopes carry fire uphill at an increased rate of spread, while canyons act as channels for wind to spread fire. Fires will burn faster uphill than downhill because of the preheating of the uphill fuels. Slope may also contribute to the propensity for hot debris to roll or slide downhill, creating spot fires which may burn back uphill to the main fire.
The majority of slopes in Country Club face in a southernly direction. Generally, due to greater exposure to the sun and subsequent solar heating, south-facing slopes exhibit higher intensity and more rapid rates of spread.
Potential fuels in a wildfire include living and dead vegetation, homes, and outbuildings. Flammability depends upon size, density, moisture content, and chemical properties. For example, some mulches, plants, shrubs and trees ignite faster and burn more readily than others.
50 to 74% of Country Club residents have treated vegetation and a combustible free area in the immediate and intermediate zones around their homes. However, that percentage drops to fewer than 25% of residents who have treated vegetation in the extended zone (out to 100 feet). Some extended areas indicate heavy accumulations of ground debris, particularly beneath those with eucalyptus trees.
A wide variety of Fire-Hazardous mulches, plants, shrubs and trees can be found in County Club, including Gorilla and Grisly mulch, Juniper, Rosemary, Cypress, Pampas/Jubata grass, Bamboo, Acacia, Madeira, and Palm trees. Some of these hazardous plants/trees are close to structures and encroach upon evacuation routes, such as along Summit Ave. and the corners of Montecito/Margarita and Fairway/Margarita.
Wildfire modeling (based on data from the most recent CWPP), indicates that the vegetation surrounding ridge tops and corresponding valleys to the north and north east of Country Club is a potential source of ignition.
History of Wildfires:
There is no evidence of a wildfire in this area. Two small fires have occurred, but these were ignited by a vehicle and ground vegetation.
This unincorporated neighborhood receives fire protection from the City of San Rafael. Since 1976, Marin County and San Rafael have had ongoing agreement with the San Rafael Fire Department to provide fire protection services to the unincorporated neighborhoods, including Country Club. In 2016, the County and San Rafael entered into a new 10-year lease and an operational agreement.
The nearest fire departments to Country Club: San Rafael Fire Station #52 (Address: 52 Union Street, San Rafael. Distance=3.5 miles. Travel Time=9 minutes); and the San Rafael Fire Station #55 (955 Point San Pedro Road, San Rafael. Distance=8.5 miles. Travel Time=15 minutes).
Remote fire-sensing cameras are located on San Pedro Mountain.