Firewise Communities

What is Firewise?

Firewise USA is a nationally recognized program that provides a collaborative framework to help neighbors get organized, find direction, and take action to decrease the risk of wildfires within the community.

How to Start One

Organize it:

Group of happy volunteers embracing in park.jpeg

Create a board or committee of volunteers to represent your community, including residents and partners such as CAL FIRE and your local Fire District.  

Define your community and the number of individual single-family homes to be included.

Community size can be between 8 and 2,500 dwelling units.  Boundary maps can be created using El Dorado County's Online Mapping Tool.

Plan it:


Work with your Regional Coordinator to complete a Community Wildfire Risk Assessment. The Risk Assessment identifies areas of successful wildfire risk reduction and areas where improvements could be made. Emphasis should be on the general condition of homes and related home ignition zones.

Use the Risk Assessment to create a three-year action plan to identify and prioritize actions to reduce ignition risk to homes. These can include community-wide investments along with suggested homeowner actions and education activities.

Do it


Annually, complete the educational and risk reduction actions identified in the three-year action plan. Track your efforts to meet your community's annual reporting requirements. 


Program Benefits

Learn About Wildfire

As communities go through the process, they learn about wildfire risks in their community and the measures they can do to reduce them. Firewise Communities connect with experts - local fire fighters, state forestry professionals, and national researchers - to continue to learn about fire and find resources to accomplish fire-safe actions.

Get Peace of Mind

Communities who work with experts to learn about wildfire and take action start to see results within their community. Knowing that they are using the best information available and taking steps to reduce the risk of wildfire helps people start to feel safer in their community. Knowing that they are using the best information available and taking steps to reduce the risk of wildfire helps people start to feel safer in their community and in their homes. Having a plan for what to do in the event of a fire also helps people become calmer and more prepared to act quickly.


As neighbors get together to do work, often meeting one another for the first time, they build a strong bond with each other. Actively working together towards a common cause for the food of the community, strengthens ties and can benefit residents in many ways. This is especially helpful during an emergency.

Access to Funding and Assistance

Preference may be given to Firewise communities over other candidates when allocations of grant funding is available for wildfire safety or fuel mitigation projects. Some organizations tend to have more confidence in communities that have demonstrated the foresight of becoming a recognized Firewise community.

Possible Insurance Discounts

The California Department of Insurance recognizes Firewise USA as one of the steps for the state's Safer From Wildfires Program. The creation of Firewise communities under this program may help homeowners qualify for an insurance discount.

Contact Your Coordinator Below to Get Started

West Slope Regional Coordinator

Richard Galvin

Tahoe Basin Regional Coordinator

Jason Brand

CAL FIRE Coordinator

Arend Tosti


For more information, please click below:
Firewise USA Banner