How to Prepare

Firewise USA Overview

Firewise USA is a voluntary program that provides a framework to help neighborhoods of all different sizes become organized, find direction, and take action to become more adaptive to wildfire by increasing the ignition resistance of their homes and community.

The Santa Barbara Fire Safe Council can help your community achieve Firewise recognition. There are numerous benefits of the recognition. 

The Firewise USA Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire. The program provides resources to help homeowners learn how to adapt to living with wildfire while encouraging and empowering neighbors to work together to take action to reduce their wildfire risk and prevent community losses. Join the network of over 1,500 recognized Firewise communities across the nation who are taking action and ownership in preparing and protecting their homes, as well as their neighbors, against the threat of wildfire.

Scientific research has proven the effectiveness and benefits of implementing wildfire mitigation concepts across individual property boundaries and throughout communities.

Using a six-step process, communities develop an action plan that guides their properties risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging their neighbors to become active participants in building communities more adaptive to wildfire. Neighborhoods throughout Santa Barbara County and the United States are embracing the benefits of becoming a recognized Firewise Community – and you can too!

The process is simple and the Firewises USA program will provide the necessary educational materials, training, expertise and assistance, while allowing your neighborhood to take action and responsibility for their communities’ safety.

The following steps will get your community started and on their way to receiving their official Firewise Communities USA recognition status, and the honor of proudly displaying their own signage along with many other benefits.

The six steps of Firewise recognition:

  1. Form a Firewise board or committee (representing at least 8, and no more than 2500 homes in your community).
  2. Conduct a wildfire risk assessment for your neighborhood or community.
  3. Create an Action Plan.
  4. Conduct educational outreach in your neighborhood.
  5. Invest a minimum of only $25 per home in local wildfire risk-reduction actions for the year.
  6. Submit an application online – Santa Barbara Fire Safe Council will help. 

Download the Firewise Tool Kit

The Firewise USA program is co-sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association, USDA Forest Service , U.S. Department of Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.

Much of the material found in this section has been reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/Firewise. © NFPA 

Thank you to FIRESafe MARIN for the use of material from their site: www.firesafemarin.org/firewise

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