Prioritizing based on assets, risk and feasibility is how FIRE SAFE San Mateo County can get projects done meaningfully and efficiently. FIRE SAFE San Mateo County and our members have produced multiple prioritizing documents for San Mateo County and our associated region.
Community Wildfire Protection Plan
A Community Wildfire Protection Plan is a tool for communities to identify landscape scale hazards and take strategic action to reduce wildfire risk for healthier ecosystems and more resilient communities. The 143-page document assesses hazards and priorities within the two counties, identifies at-risk communities, and provides fuel reduction recommendations for high priority areas. The CWPP can also aid communities to apply for state and federal funding for fire prevention projects and programs.
Read more about the plan here.
CAL FIRE's Community Wildfire Prevention & Mitigation Report (45-Day Report)
California experienced the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in its history in 2017 and 2018. Fueled by drought, an unprecedented buildup of dry vegetation and extreme winds, the size and intensity of these wildfires caused the loss of more than 100 lives, destroyed thousands of homes and exposed millions of urban and rural Californians to unhealthy air.
Recognizing the need for urgent action, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-05-19 on January 9, 2019. The Executive Order directs the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), in consultation with other state agencies and departments, to recommend immediate, medium and long-term actions to help prevent destructive wildfires.
With an emphasis on taking necessary actions to protect vulnerable populations, and recognizing a backlog in fuels management work combined with finite resources, the Governor placed an emphasis on pursuing a strategic approach where necessary actions are focused on California's most vulnerable communities as a prescriptive and deliberative endeavor to realize the greatest returns on reducing risk to life and property.
Using locally developed and vetted fire plans prepared by CAL FIRE Units as a starting point, CAL FIRE identified priority fuel reduction projects that can be implemented almost immediately to protect communities vulnerable to wildfire. It then considered socioeconomic characteristics of the communities that would be protected, including data on poverty levels, residents with disabilities, language barriers, residents over 65 or under five years of age, and households without a car.
In total, CAL FIRE identified 35 priority projects that can be implemented immediately to help reduce public safety risk for over 200 communities. Project examples include removal of hazardous dead trees, vegetation clearing, 3 creation of fuel breaks and community defensible spaces, and creation of ingress and egress corridors. These projects can be implemented immediately if recommendations in this report are taken to enable the work. Details on the projects and CAL FIRE’s analysis can be found online at http://calfire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/downloads/FuelReductionProjectList.pdf , which will remain updated in the coming months. The list of projects is attached to this report as Appendix C.
This report’s recommendations on priority fuel reduction projects and administrative, regulatory, and policy changes can protect our most vulnerable communities in the short term and place California on a trajectory away from increasingly destructive fires and toward more a moderate and manageable fire regime.
(TBA) Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve Prescribed Fire Program
To expite fire mitigation programs, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is currently developing a Prescribed Fire Program. This program will identify and address fire risks for the three-county district, promote fire mitigation response, and increase public safety and education.
Check Midpen's website for updates on their District wide fire program.