Almanac

News - January 29, 2014

Should shake roofs be banned?

Editor's note: This story in the paper had the wrong date for the meeting. The correct date is shown below.

A five-year analysis shows that between 5 percent and 10 percent of roofs in Portola Valley and Woodside are made of combustible wood shakes, according to a staff report. Because shakes are so vulnerable to wildfire, should they be banned in the interest of fire safety in these forested towns?

Both town councils will discuss a ban on new shake roofs and major renewals to existing shake roofs with the Woodside Fire Protection District fire marshal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, in the Community Hall at 765 Portola Road in Portola Valley.

Town staff have invited roofers and insurance representatives to contribute to the discussion. An ignition-resistant slate roof costs an average of about $10,000 more than a wood shake roof, the report says. Fire Marshal Denise Enea will be available to discuss results in other communities that have banned wood shake roofs.

The public is invited.

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