- May 10 - Phleger Estate near Woodside, CA - 0.5 acres
- June 14 - Highway 1 in Olema, CA - 1.5 acres
- July 4 - Mt. Tam near Kenfield, CA - 1 acre
The summer season means more than school vacations and weekends at the pool. Summer brings an increase in the threat of wildfires and the danger that these outbreaks carry. As firefighters worked to contain wildfires across California, the National Interagency Fire Center recently published its summer fire outlook that forecasts a difficult, above average wildfire season in the West.
Wildfires spread quickly and often go undetected until it’s too late. Across our nation every year communities are affected by major wildfires. While some homes survive, more homes do not. Make sure your family and community take actions to get prepared.
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 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.
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:
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.
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:
NFPA also provides other materials to help guide your mitigation activities with neighbors and friends.
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).
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.
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.