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Firewise USA

About the Program

Neighbors helping neighbors–this is what Firewise USA® is all about. Residents join together as a Firewise site and take actions to prepare themselves, their homes and their properties against the threat of wildfire. They look out for one another and provide those in need of assistance with help in emergency preparation.

There are currently over 80 Firewise sites here in Marin, including more than 50,000 homes–the largest countywide participation in the country! Fire Safe Marin provides these residents with resources and support to organize and learn about personal preparedness, alerts and warning, local evacuation plans, and strategies to make their community more fire-resistant.

The Universal Firewise Actions

What should Firewise communities do?

  1. Get to know one another and develop a contact list for the neighborhood.
  2. Hold regular meetings to share information and plan events.
  3. Promote wildfire education.
  4. Hold evacuation drills.
  5. Hold a neighborhood walk to note areas that need improvement.
  6. Report serious hazards to your local fire department.
  7. Encourage participation in an annual Chipper Day event.

What are the benefits?

Firewise sites promote a culture of readiness and action that will save lives and homes in the event of a wildfire. Working together to identify risks and solve problems, the neighborhood take on projects that may be overwhelming alone. Neighborhood clean-up days and evacuation drills turn burdensome and scary challenges into communal events.

Fire Safe Marin provide organizational assistance to each Firewise site. We work directly with each Firewise site to inform residents about personal preparedness and the best practices for hardening homes and creating fire-smart lawns. If most homeowners in a neighborhood just do some work to clean up their yards and fireproof their homes, the whole community is much less vulnerable to fire. An active Firewise site is nationally recognized as a fire-adapted community.

Insurance Discounts

NFPA is now providing the Firewise USA® boundary data to insurance agencies through Verisk.  Information regarding this pilot program can be found in Verisk’s Press Release. It is the responsibility of insurance company agents to contact their Verisk representative for more information on the property being in the Firewise USA® recognition program. The only information shared through Verisk is whether or not a home is within the boundary of a firewire site.

Several residential insurance companies offer both community-wide discounts (for example, a home in a Fire Wise or a Shelter-In-Place community) and home-specific discounts (for example, maintaining defensible space or home-safety measures against wind-blown embers). In some cases, these discounts can be combined.  Because discounts and eligibility differ by company, we urge you to contact the insurance company directly to find out if your property qualifies. Here is a link to the California Department of Insurance webpage that lists companies offering discounts.


Do you live in a Firewise Site?

To find out, check out this interactive map Marin Firewise USA sites (updated February 2021). Start by typing in your address in the search function.

Become a Firewise Site

  1. Form a Firewise board or committee (representing at least 8, and no more than 2500 homes in your community).
  2. Conduct a wildfire risk assessment for your neighborhood or community.*
  3. Create an Action Plan.
  4. Conduct educational outreach in your neighborhood.
  5. Invest a minimum of only $27 per home in local wildfire risk-reduction actions for the year.
  6. Submit an application online – Fire Safe Marin will help!

Firewise Leaders Meeting

The Firewise USA Leaders Meeting is held by Zoom the second Friday of each month via Zoom. The meeting is open to the public (online only). Meetings start at 11:00 AM and last about 2 hours. Email for more information.

The Firewise USA program is co-sponsored by the NFPA, USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.

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