Lamorinda Firewise USA® Call to Action
Lamorinda residents have the opportunity to make a significant improvement in Lamorinda fire safety through the NFPA Firewise USA® Program. Firewise USA is a nationwide standard approach to reducing and managing wildfire risk.
Firewise USA® Communities can be as small as 8 homes and as large as 2500 (with lots of sub-units). In Moraga and Orinda, the existing communities range from as few as 10 homes to more than 400.
Firewise USA® Leader responsibilities are not hard or time consuming. To assist you, experienced local Firewise USA® Leaders are available to provide guidance and ready-to-go educational resource files.
The basic steps for creating Firewise USA® community follow:
Form a small committee that’s comprised of residents and potentially wildfire expert resources. This group will collaborate on identifying the community’s boundary and size.
Obtain a written wildfire risk assessment from your local fire district, MOFD for Moraga, Orinda and Canyon and Contra Costa Fire for Lafayette. The assessment identifies areas of successful wildfire risk reduction and areas where improvements could be made. Emphasis should be on the general conditions of homes and related home ignition zones. The assessment is a living document and needs to be updated every five years.
Your board/committee will develop an action plan – a prioritized list of risk reduction projects/investments for the participating site, along with suggested homeowner actions and education activities that participants will strive to complete annually, or over a period of multiple years. Action plans should be updated at a minimum of at least every three years.
Engage with your neighbors on addressing items in the action plan. These efforts will go towards your site’s annual wildfire risk reduction investment.
Track engagement with volunteer hourly worksheet to collect information from residents in your community [requirements for certification / re-certification are nominal (minimum of one volunteer hour per home) in wildfire risk reduction actions]. For example, if your site has identified 100 homes within its boundary, then 100 hours of work or the monetary equivalent need to be completed for that year.
Tell Firewise USA® about it
New applications can be completed online at portal.Firewise.org. Tell us about the actions and efforts in your community to engage residents and complete mitigation work at the home level. Once all the criteria has been completed, the electronic application can be submitted.
Now is the time to initiate establishing additional Lamorinda Firewise USA® communities to be better prepared for future Wildfire seasons. Next steps that can and should be taken now:
- Learn more about the Firewise USA® program by visiting:
- Talk with one or more of the existing Firewise USA® Leaders to learn more:
- Contact the Moraga-Orinda Fire District or Contra Costa County Fire Protection District to get their assistance with your assessments:
- Talk with your neighbors. How important is wild fire safety to them? Are they interested in MOFD or Contra Costa Fire providing expert guidance?
- Initiate the organizing process.