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How To Get Firewise

Wildfire Road
Would you want to be trying to evacuate right about now?

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Right about now you are in one of two scenarios:
1) First: You may be facing an active wildfire.
If your community is currently under threat of a wildfire, click for a checklist to get ready to evacuate immediately.
2) Second: You are educating yourself, taking action, getting ready for wildfire and other emergencies, well in advance of the event.
We sincerely hope this is your situation. The Cascadel Ranch Fire Safe Council can help you get there. You are not alone. Begin by watching the videos.

Watch These Firewise Videos

Your Home Can Survive a Wildfire

Wildfire! Preventing Home Ignitions

with Jack Cohen, Research Physical Fire Scientist with the USFS

Examining Home Destruction by Wildfire in the Wildland Urban Interface

Fire Behavior in the Wildland Urban Interface

Making Your Home Firewise

Home Improvement: A Firewise Approach

Education & Implementation

Now that you’ve watched Jack’s videos and learned the basics, it’s time to get started.

Prepare > Harden > Go!

Follow the steps below:

Getting Firewise is easy. But it is work. Three simple steps.

The payoff, however, is inestimable. You might just save your home & family.
And the little things can make all the difference.

  1. Prepare to Evacuate
  2. Harden Your Home & Home Ignition Zone
  3. Go Early & Stay Safe

Each item above is a link to that page.
This page is an overview with a lot of general information and videos.
You should read this whole page no matter how expert you already are.
You will get a good or better understanding of firewise, and what you need to do to get fire wise.

Firewise: The Basics

Click to Download How To Get a Firewise Home

What Does “Firewise” Mean?

First of all, let’s define “firewise.” In the context of the The Cascadel Ranch Fire Safe Council program of the Firewise Communities USA program, firewise means being ready for wildfire. Simple.

The term is a contraction of “fire” and “wise” obviously, started back in 1985 by an earlier version of the  NFPA program. Back then firewise landscaping was the focus. Fire resistant plants and landscaping practices were promoted, thus being “wise” regarding “fire.” That first program was motivated by the devastating USA 1985 – 1986 fire season.

Helping You Help Yourself

Going beyond the figure of speech “wise regarding fire,” the Firewise program of the National Fire Protection Association is defined as helping homeowners prepare for wildfire.
Zooming in to break it down further, being wise regarding fire has three main areas, evacuation, property & structures, and execution of the plan: prepare, harden, and go.
Get ready for wildfire to the greatest extent possible and enjoy peace of mind.
By doing everything you can to prepare you, your family, your neighborhood, your property & structures, to potentially withstand major, or even any loss, in a catastrophic wildfire event, makes you firewise!
So get ready to evacuate long before you need to, leave behind a hardened home and home ignition zone and go early with your family using your emergency plan!
Get ready! Get Firewise!

Who Should Get Firewise?

Honestly, everyone should. No matter where you live, city, suburb, rural areas, wherever, fire and other emergencies pose a threat.
Being ready for fire, wild or not, is always a great thing. Being prepared for any emergency is even better.

Not Just for the Wildland Urban Interface WUI

The Cascadel Ranch Fire Safe Council focuses on the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) of mostly Eastern Madera County. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get ready.
If you live in Eastern Madera County, you are a prime candidate for the program.
See if your neighborhood is one of the at-risk communities listed in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
Nevertheless, even if you are not listed, don’t let that stop you.
Everyone should be prepared. At a minimum, you should be ready for fast and safe evacuation, but even better is to get truly ready for wildfire.

Stop Information Overload 🙁

There is so much information on the internet on how to be fire “wise,” fire “safe,” fire “adapted,” and on and on, that it can be overwhelming.
The goal of The Cascadel Ranch Fire Safe Council is to round up the info, help dispel any confusion and just get you going on easy, simple steps.
The idea is to break everything down with the 1, 2, 3 approach.
Taking these steps right now, will help to protect you, your family, your property, your neighborhood and emergency personnel, getting real results.
You are not alone.
You can get help with assessments and follow-up.

Watch These Videos

Wildfire! Preventing Home Ignitions

Firewise Communities created an excellent video that goes into great depth about how fire behaves and how homes are really lost in catastrophic wildfire. What’s surprising to some is that it’s not that raging front that destroys so many homes, but embers or “clinkers” as fire personnel call them.
According to A Holistic Framework to Sustainably Manage the Wildland Urban Interface by Dr. Chris Dicus, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CA, statistically speaking, half of the homes that burn from wildfire in the WUI are ignited by flying embers. Half of those are ignited inside the house!
In other words, reducing the forest in a neighborhood to a concrete moonscape still won’t necessarily prevent catastrophic loss in the event of a wildfire! This is illustrated time and again when treeless, high-density urban neighborhoods burn to the ground. After getting ready to go, hardening your home is common sense and possibly your best line of defense!

Ready For Wildfire

This CAL Fire Ready, Set, Go! video touches on a lot of the same ground. This video is well worth a watch!

How Sunshine Resident Karen Simmons Helped Save Her Home from Wildfire

One Homeowner’s Efforts to Protect his Home from Wildfire

Four Mile Canyon Fire

Fire In The Hills

The History of the Oakland Hills Regarding Fire

This video discusses the history and growth of Oakland Hills from the 1700s to 1991. As Oakland grew and became more crowded, so did the problems that contributed to the both 1923 fire and the 1991 fire.
The 1991 Oakland Hills fire was the impetus behind PRC4290 and 4291. Enforcement of both remains a challenge.[break]