MARIPOSA COUNTY — The Mariposa County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) is launching a free program to help residents to harden their homes against wildfire. The new program includes a team of technical experts to perform an onsite assessment, and a list of recommendations specific to the home. When possible, they will also install ember screens on attic and crawlspace vents, and clear vegetation from within five feet of the building foundation, free of charge.
In wildfire events, 60 to 90 percent of home loss is due to embers. Embers can ignite materials in an attic after entering through a vent or ignite nearby vegetation, a wood pile, or storage shed causing radiant heat or direct flame contact with the home. Reducing the vulnerability of homes to ember ignition will increase the chance of homes and neighborhoods surviving a wildfire.
Each home will be evaluated by looking at common ignition vulnerabilities such as:
- Defensible Spaces
- Rain Gutters
Participants will receive personalized recommendations for the measures best suited to protect their home. Implementing these recommendations will also help neighborhoods interested in receiving their FireWise certification. Home hardening, defensible space management, and neighborhood collaboration are all important in protecting our homes and community from wildfire, however homes can still burn despite these efforts. This program is offered to reduce risk, but will not eliminate it.
The Home Hardening program is funded by a combination of grant funds and funds dedicated for the purpose awarded to MCRCD by the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors. Applications must be completed in full, and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications must be accompanied by a signed right of entry form.
Please visit their website to read or download the Wildfire Home Retrofit Guide, download the program application, or contact them at email@example.com.
Watch for future community workshops in collaboration with the University of California Cooperative Extension!
The mission of the Mariposa County Resource Conservation District is to encourage and facilitate cooperative solutions to local resource conservation issues. They provide technical, financial and educational resources to meet the needs of local land users.
Check out the MCRCD on YouTube! Lots of great videos!
Some tips on how to harden your home against wildfires
- Create a defensible space around your home: Clear away any flammable vegetation, debris, or other combustible materials from within 30 feet of your home. This creates a buffer zone that can help prevent flames from reaching your house.
- Use fire-resistant materials for your home’s exterior: This includes roofing, siding, and decking. Consider using non-combustible materials like concrete, brick, or metal.
- Keep your gutters and roof clear of debris: This helps prevent embers from igniting a fire on your roof or in your gutters.
- Install fire-resistant windows and doors: These are designed to withstand high heat and prevent flames from entering your home.
- Seal any gaps or cracks around doors and windows: This helps prevent embers from entering your home and starting a fire.
Use landscaping to your advantage: Plant fire-resistant vegetation around your home, and use hardscaping like gravel or stone instead of mulch, which is highly flammable.
- Maintain your lawn and yard: Keep your grass mowed and remove any dead vegetation. This can help prevent fires from spreading.
- Create an emergency evacuation plan: Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do in case of a wildfire. This includes having an evacuation route and meeting place planned.
- Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers: Make sure you have smoke detectors in every bedroom and on every floor of your home, and have fire extinguishers readily available.
- Stay informed: Monitor local weather to be aware of rapidly-changing weather conditions.