About the Program
One of the most important initiatives for the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) is to expand and enhance defensible space home evaluations to ensure homes meet fire and building codes, as well as education to reduce the vulnerability of a home. Twenty percent (approximately $4 Million Dollars) of the MWPA budget is allocated each year to local fire departments for home evaluations.
Local Home Evaluation Programs
Local fire department home evaluation programs differ slightly, but in all cases, the goal is to assess risks around each property, recognize the wildfire dangers, and implement a fuel reduction and home hardening plan. The evaluation programs take an educational approach to working with homeowners.
The Novato Fire Department mitigation team offers appointments for free personalized assessments, recommendations for improvements, and information on financial assistance programs (415-878-2622).
The San Rafael Fire Department Wildfire Mitigation Team conducts wildfire mitigation projects and home assessments throughout the San Rafael year around. If you’d like to schedule a visit to your property, call 415-721-2875 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Some assistance may be available to directly help low-income, elderly, and disabled homeowners reduce the wildfire risk around their homes as well as other wildfire mitigation work. Assistance request form
Central and West Marin Fire Departments, including the Ross Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, and all of West Marin, hire seasonal inspectors to conduct home evaluations. Thousands of evaluations are conducted between May and September. Areas are rotated each year with the goal of visiting every residence at least once every three years. Homeowners are provided with a detailed, online evaluation form that describes each area on the property that may be in need of attention. The evaluation form has links to the Fire Safe Marin website for detailed information on how to make the improvements needed for defensible space and home hardening. For further information: 415 275-1185 or email@example.com
Southern Marin Fire Protection District & Mill Valley Fire offer a very detailed home assessment of residential properties that are in the wildland urban interface. This program provides the homeowner with valuable information on how to achieve defensible space and to help reduce the threat that a wildfire might have on your home. For a free home assessment call (415)730-9048.
Home Evaluation Tips
The following links provide guidance to fix some of the most common issues cited in-home evaluations:
- Stop fire ladders
- Cut annual grasses and weeds
- Remove leaf litter
- Remove dead or dying trees
- Remove tree limbs within 10′ of chimney
- Remove tree limbs overhanging structure
- Clear trees or limbs encroaching on roadway or driveway
- Clear shrubs encroaching on roadway or driveway
- Clear combustible vegetation or debris near roadway or driveway
- Remove or replace combustible mulch
- Relocate firewood at least 30’ away from structures
- Relocate recycling and garbage cans vulnerable to embers
- Install high-visibility address numbers to meet standards
- Install high-contrast and reflective address numbers to meet standards