Deputy Chief Paul Ehrman has lived in Southern California almost his entire life and graduated from Esperanza High School in Anaheim in 1987. He attended Rancho Santiago College and Long Beach State University prior to attending the Paramedic Program at Crafton Hills College in 1993.
Chief Ehrman began as a Paramedic Intern in Ontario in 1994 and was hired by the City of Coronado as a Firefighter later that same year. He was subsequently hired back at the Ontario Fire Department in 1996 and has been here ever since. He has worked as a Firefighter/Paramedic, Fire Captain, Deputy Fire Marshal, and Battalion Chief prior to his current position of Fire Deputy Chief / Fire Marshal.
As Fire Marshal, Chief Ehrman is in charge of the Fire Prevention Bureau which incorporates a multitude of assignments, including enforcement and development of the Fire Code, new development and construction within the City, fire, and sprinkler plan review, as well as fire investigation and public education.
A no-cost permit must be obtained from the Ontario Fire Prevention Department for abatement of properties over one acre. Click here for the permit and filing instructions
The primary purpose of the weed and refuse abatement program is to prevent fire hazards posed by overgrown weeds and the accumulation of combustible materials, and also to enhance the appearance of the City.
Code Enforcement staff will inspect vacant lots in the City twice a year, during the spring and the fall. Additional inspections may occur due to weed or vegetation growth from greater than normal rainy seasons.
Code staff will be looking to ensure weeds and vegetation on vacant lots are less than six inches in height on sites less than one acre. For sites greater than one acre, a minimum clearance of 30 feet is required around structures and property lines. Additionally, the Ontario Municipal Code property maintenance schedule sections require all properties in the City to be maintained free of debris, with trees trimmed and dilapidated fences removed or repaired.
If a vacant lot is not in compliance at the time of inspection, the property owner will be issued a Notice of Violation in addition to a corresponding fee. If after a second inspection the vacant lot is still not in compliance with a civil penalty, re-inspection fee and a Notice of Intent to Abate will also be issued. Code staff will then direct a City contractor to abate all weeds, rubbish and/or refuse on the vacant lot. All costs associated with the abatement of weeds and refuse from the property and an administrative fee will be assessed to the property owner. Failure to pay fines, penalties and abatement costs will result in a special assessment being placed on the property tax bill.
MINIMUM FIRE SAFETY STANDARDS
- Weeds, sagebrush, chaparral and any other brush must not exceed 6 inches in height.
- Noxious or dangerous weeds such as poison oak or poison ivy must be removed.
- Clear flammable vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around the structure, occupied or not. Some conditions may require up to 100 feet of clearance.
- Parcels up to one acre shall be completely abated.
- Parcels one to five acres require 30-foot clearance around structures and perimeter property lines. Additional 30-foot cross fuel breaks may also be required.
- Parcels larger than five acres require 30-foot clearance around structure a perimeter property lines in addition to 30-foot cross breaks as needed to separate the remaining vegetation into sections no larger than five acres.
- Keep property clear of combustible debris, such as trash and dead vegetation.
- Keep vegetation cleared from under the eaves of houses.
- Trim tree branches to at least 10 feet from the structure and chimney.
- Clear leaves, pine needles and debris from roof and gutters.
- Ladder fuels, such as tall grasses, shrubs and tree branches shall be kept no less than eight feet from ground level.
FINES FOR REFUSAL TO ABATE WEED AND REFUSE CONDITIONS
- Notice of Violation: $110
- Re-inspection: $50
- Civil Penalties: $500
- Abatement: $285 administrative fee plus contractor cost, and warrant if needed
Please contact either:
City of Ontario Code Enforcement
City of Ontario Bureau of Fire Prevention
Plans are required for all new buildings and for changes to existing buildings. The Fire Department reviews these plans to help ensure that the applicable codes, ordinances, and standards are being followed, and to prevent unnecessary hazards. The Ontario Fire Department has a goal to turn around all plans submitted within ten (10) working days.
New plans may be submitted to the Fire Department Counter located at 303 East "B" Street, which is now a part of the “one-stop shop” concept that allows our customers to have all their plan check needs to be met at one location. When submitting plans to the Fire Permit counter, please bring three (3) complete sets of drawings and three (3) copies of any other supplemental information. Plan check and permit fees are based on contract valuation and are payable at the time of submittal. Please let the Permit Technician know your timelines for the project. If the projected turnaround time is outside of your timeline, please let our staff know and inquire about our expedited plan check program, or see the link on this page below.
Plans that are submitted directly to the fire permit counter include underground fire protection water mains, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, pre-engineered fire protection systems, high piled storage, and hazardous materials. All other plans are submitted to the Building Department and are automatically routed to the Fire Department.