California Wildfire Mitigation Program

Hazard Mitigation
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​Program Overview

​As part of the State of California’s effort to strengthen community-wide resilience against wildfires, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has partnered with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to develop a state home hardening initiative to retrofit, harden, and create defensible space for homes at high risk to wildfires, focusing on high socially-vulnerability communities and providing financial assistance for low- and moderate-income households. 
 
Known as the California Wildfire Mitigation Program (CWMP), this effort encourages cost-effective wildfire resilience measures to create fire-resistant homes, businesses, public buildings and public spaces.  
 
Mitigation measures such as home hardening, vegetation management, defensible space, and other fuel modification activities provide neighborhood or community-wide benefits against wildfire.  

Pilot Phase

San Diego, Shasta, and Lake Counties were prioritized as pilot areas for this Program after conducting a statewide analysis at the parcel and census-tract level of areas with high wildfire risk and social vulnerability. Fire risk, climate change risk factors, and census data were included in the analyses.  
 

The five social vulnerability factors prioritized for this Program include: 

  • residents over age 65

  • residents in poverty 

  • residents with a disability 

  • residents with limited English 

  • residents without a car 

 
In addition, the analysis used social vulnerability data from the Center for Disease Control Social Vulnerability Index (2018) and only considered census tracts in the Fire Hazard Severity Zones.  


Applications

 

To qualify, participants must:

  • Be the legal property owner in an eligible area at the time of application

  • Be willing to participate in a home assessment to determine the measures which may be taken to safeguard your home

  • Be willing to sign a right of entry to your property and allow contractors to implement the defensible space and home hardening activities

 

Additional information and application details for interested homeowners:

 

Homeowners located in the pilot phase communities can apply here.
 

Home Assessment

 
If your application has been approved, the Program will provide a home hardening assessment to determine what improvements need to be made.
 

What is home hardening?

 
Wildfire Home Hardening includes retrofitting homes with fire-resistant materials and creating defensible space around homes and communities.
 
Home modifications can include replacing the roofing material with a noncombustible material, installing metal gutters, and upgrading to dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass.
 

What is defensible space?

 
Defensible space, coupled with home hardening, is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. Defensible space is the buffer between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it.
 
This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it helps protect your home from catching fire—either from embers, direct flame contact or radiant heat. Proper defensible space also provides firefighters a safe area to work in, to defend your home.
 

The Program Inception

 
Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 38 in 2019 authorizing Cal OES and CAL FIRE to enter into a joint powers agreement to oversee development and implementation of the Program.

 
 
 




Contacts

 
Cal OES Recovery, Hazard Mitigation
CA Wildfire Mitigation Program
Email: CWMP@CALOES.CA.GOV

San Diego County
Website: Community Risk Reduction (sandiegocounty.gov)
Email: HomeHardening.SanDiego@sdcounty.ca.gov
Phone: 858-974-5929
 
Shasta County
Shasta Fire Safe Council
Website: https://www.shastafiresafe.org/whitmore-project
Email: SafeHomes@shastafiresafe.org
Phone: 530-776-5144
 
Lake County
North Coast Opportunities (NCO)
Website: NCO-CA Wildfire Mitigation Program
Email: homehardening@ncoinc.org
Phone: 707-461-0760
 
RESOURCES
CAL FIRE

CAL OES


 

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