Fire Safe San Mateo News

Wildfire Safety Blog and News from Fire Safe San Mateo.
Jun
18

Nonpartisan Economic Research Center Summarizes Rising Cost of Wildfire

Headwaters Economics, a nonpartisan economic research center in Montana, published an excellent summary on the rising costs of wildland fires in the West. Their extensive analysis covers several areas in detail:

  • A report on why wildfires are becoming more severe and expensive, and how the protection of homes in the Wildland-Urban Interface has added to these costs.
  • The potential for new home development in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) at the county and state level.
  • State-specific research on the impact of new homes and temperature change on wildfire suppression costs.
  • White Paper with suggestions for how future firefighting costs best can be controlled.

Read more here...

http://headwaterseconomics.org/wildfire/fire-research-summary

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May
16

Home Survival in Wildfire-Prone Areas: Building Materials and Design Considerations

Home Survival in Wildfire-Prone Areas: Building Materials and Design Considerations

A wildfire-safe home must be an ember-ignition-resistant home, so that even if the flames do not reach your home, it will be able to withstand exposure to embers that may have been blown a mile or more in front of a wildfire.  To provide maximum wildfire protection for your home, a combination of near-home vegetation management, appropriate building materials, and related design features must be used. These points are summarized the excellent Univesity of California publication, "Home Survival in Wildfire-Prone Areas: Building Materials and Design Considerations."

Preparing and maintaining adequate defensible space will guard against flame contact and radiant exposures from nearby vegetation—but because of the likely ember exposure to your home during a wildfire, you cannot ignore building material and design considerations. Similarly, if you ignore your defensible space (i.e., you do not have it or do not maintain it), the wildfire will produce maximum ember, flame, and radiant exposures to your home.  It is very unlikely that even hardened buildings can survive such exposure, as a weak link will likely exist somewhere in the building enclosure.

Learn more about hardening your home against wildfire with these tips from FIRE SAFE San Mateo County...

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Apr
16

CAL FIRE Forms FC-31 and FC-32 Available for Download by Project Sponsors

Fire Safe San Mateo partners with CAL FIRE and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to conduct fuel reduction and vegetation management projects in San Mateo County.  With 17 members and a Fire Captain, Fire Crews are one of the most efficient resources available to create fuel breaks and conduct mechanical thinning of overgrown vegetation.

Project sponsors working with CAL FIRE crews in San Mateo County must have a form FC-31 (MOU) and FC-32 signed and on file with CAL FIRE.  

The Sponsor shall submit project proposals on a form approved by CAL FIRE (currently an FC-32).  By doing so, with reference to any such proposals subsequently approved by the CAL FIRE, Sponsor agrees to:

  • Pay for all costs directly related to and necessitated by such projects, except for wages, salaries, and other remuneration paid to CAL FIRE employees, inmates, or wards, and the cost of their support.
  • Demonstrate the availability of adequate plans and specifications, sufficient funds, materials, supplies, and equipment, adequate technical supervision and any special labor requirements to complete such projects.
  • Obtain the approvals, notification, and permits required by any state, federal, or local agency necessary to commence construction, fuels management, or operation of such projects.
  • Hold an orientation meeting with CAL FIRE at the commencement of such projects to explain the technical aspects, execution of, and need for such projects.

Download Forms FC-31 and FC-32 here...

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Apr
16

Planners Play Important Role in Wildfire Safety Regulations

For residents living in the WUI, being closer to nature offers many benefits, but the risk of wildfires is often overlooked. NFPA's new best practices guide, Community Wildfire Safety through Regulation, provides options for planners and local communities considering wildfire regulations and the resources to help them adopt effective WUI tools that match local needs.

This guide is designed to help planners and local communities considering wildfire regulations to understand their options and implement a successful public process to adopt effective WUI tools that match local needs.

Read More at NFPA

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Apr
16

Fire Departments Engage Residents in Wildfire Safety Programs (NFPA)

Fire departments work with reduced budgets and limited resources for fighting fire, but are still challenged with finding innovative ways to help protect their communities including working together with residents in wildfire risk mitigation activities.

NFPA’s new DVD, Before the Smoke! Preparing Your Community for Wildfire, highlights the work of three local fire departments whose ongoing relationship with their residents allowed them to create a community better prepared for the threat of wildfire. The DVD also provides important information about key programs that communities can engage in during the year including Firewise® and Ready, Set, Go, which are a part of the Fire Adapted Communities® initiative.

Watch a clip of the DVD below:

 

The DVD can found on NFPA's wildfire safety online catalog

NFPA also provides other materials to help guide your mitigation activities with neighbors and friends. 

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Apr
16

72,000 Communities in US are at High-Risk of Wildfire

72,000 Communities in US are at High-Risk of Wildfire

More than 72,000 communities in the U.S. are located in high-risk wildfire areas, according to the 2012 National Association of State Foresters' Communities at Risk report. The report, which provides a national snapshot of wildland fire risk, preparedness and capacity, is the result of a survey of all states to determine the progress in identifying communities threatened by wildfire and the ongoing development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans.

The National Association of State Foresters  (NASF) recently published the FY 2012 Communities at Risk (CAR) report.  The purpose of the report is to determine progress in identifying communities at risk and developing Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs).

Read the full report here...

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Apr
09

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

FIRE SAFE San Mateo has launched our presence onto Facebook and Twitter, where we will share updates on our projects and relevant wildfire prevention information to residents and visitors to San Mateo County.

Please Like Us on Facebook, and Follow Us on Twitter to keep up to date.  

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Apr
09

"Lessons from the Waldo Canyon Fire" Webinar

Join the International Association of Fire Chiefs Thursday, April 18 at 11 am ET, as they present Lessons from the Waldo Canyon Fire to consider how  Colorado Spring’s wildland fire safety programs might be applied in your community.

Last summer, the Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed 345 homes and resulted in the evacuation of more than 30,000 residents from the city of Colorado Springs.  In the wake of the tragic fire, members of the Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Coalition visited the area to learn how the city’s decade-long wildland fire safety programs had affected the outcome of the fire. A final report and video were recently released as result of interviews, field visits and tours of the city’s most affected neighborhoods the Coalition’s assessment team conducted during the three-day visit to the area in July 2012.

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Mar
21

National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: Draft Western Regional Action Plan Released

The challenges presented by wildfire today, from the heavy vegetation on forests and rangelands to the communities at risk situated near these tinderboxes, are simply too complex to solve alone. To address these challenges, a broad cross-section of stakeholders has formed A National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy…

The Western Regional Action Plan is part of the culmination of a three-year effort put into motion by the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act of 2009 (FLAME Act). Representatives of federal, state, local, and tribal governments, scientists, interested governmental and nongovernmental organizations, businesses and industries worked together to develop a regional approach to achieving the goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: Restore and Maintain Landscapes, Fire Adapted Communities, and Wildfire Response. The Western Regional Action Plan was developed with stakeholder input in an inclusive and transparent process. It is a dynamic document that will be updated continually and modified on a five-year basis to best focus on the issues of concern in terms of wildland fire in the West.

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Mar
07

California Fire Science Consortium: New Research

Ecological effects of alternative fuels treatments: Highlights from the Fire and Fire Surrogates study. February 2013.
McIver, J.D.; Stephens, S.L.; Agee, J.K.; et al. 2013. Ecological effects of alternative fuel-reduction treatments: highlights of the National Fire and Fire Surrogates (FFS) study. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 22(1): 63-82.

High-severity wildfire effects on carbon stocks and emissions in fuels treated and untreated forest. February 2013.
North, M. and M. Hurteau. 2011. High-severity wildfire effects on carbon stocks and emissions in fuels treated and untreated forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 261: 1115-1120.

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