California Wildfire Mitigation Program

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

Known as the Home Hardening Program, 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.

What Does Home Hardening Modification Include?

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

The California Wildfire Home Hardening Program will also provide:

  • Community and homeowner wildfire education on defensible space and home retrofitting.
  • A framework for community collaboratives with local resources to perform Home Hardening and Defensible Space work using Cal FIRE’s Wildfire Home Retrofit Guide, 10 Low-cost Retrofit List, and Residential 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.
  • Direct financial assistance to support home hardening work for socially vulnerable and low- and moderate-income homeowners.

The following documents include additional information relating to the business plan, assembly bill (no. 38), and joint exercise of powers agreement between Cal OES and Cal FIRE for the California Wildfire Home Hardening Program.

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 six social vulnerability factors prioritized for this Program include:

  • Residents in poverty
  • Residents with a disability
  • Residents over 65 years of age
  • Residents under 5 years of age
  • Residents with language barriers
  • 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.

Qualifications

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

Application Details for Interested Homeowners

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

California Wildfire Mitigation Program (CWMP) Board Meetings

Upcoming Meetings

The California Wildfire Mitigation Program (CWMP) Board Meetings will take place on the third Tuesday of every month from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM until further notice. The next Board Meeting will take place on November 15, 2022.

The in-person location will be at:

California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) Building – 2nd Floor Conference Room 2-221

715 P Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

Meeting date and location may vary, please check meeting notices for changes. These meetings are open to the public except when specifically noticed otherwise in accordance with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. The virtual meeting waiting room will open 15 minutes before via Zoom Meeting. Additional meeting documents and resources are listed below for your convenience. 

Additional Resources and Meeting Documents:

Previous California Wildfire Mitigation Program (CWMP) Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas:

​Contact Us

San Diego County

San Diego County

Community Risk Reduction

Lake County

Lake County

North Coast Opportunities (NCO)

Shasta County

Shasta County

Shasta Fire Safe Council

California Wildfire Mitigation Program

California Wildfire Mitigation Program

Cal OES Recovery Hazard Mitigation

Additional Resources

For additional information and resources relating to home hardening and wildfire preparation strategies, visit the CAL FIRE website or 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program page.