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What Is Firewise Madera County?

Submitted by Roger Maybee

MADERA COUNTY – Firewise Madera County is a program supported by the County of Madera Board of Supervisors. The program is designed to implement the Firewise Communities USA® program of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). The program goal is to save lives and property through wildfire preparedness for communities located in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

The program is an outreach and education program focused on the highest at-risk communities listed in the Madera County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

WUI communities are those located up against National Forest or other wild open land, uniquely at risk from wildfire or spreading a residential fire to the wild lands.

Is Your Home and Community Firewise?

Are you ready to evacuate? You? Your family? Your neighbors? Can your home withstand a wildfire? Embers falling on your roof? Embers flying into your attic from miles away? Yes, from MILES away!

If your answer is “No” or “I don’t know,” then your home is NOT Firewise.

What Firewise Means to You and Yours

Being Firewise means you, your family, and your home are as prepared for wildfire as you can be.

You will be fire “wise” if you have created an emergency preparedness plan for you, your family and community, and practiced that plan so you are all ready.

You will be fire “wise” if your home and surrounding area, collectively known as the “Home Ignition Zone” (HIZ), has been prepared to withstand wildfire as much as possible. When you are Firewise, catastrophic wildfires may not be so catastrophic.

Why Be Firewise?

A Firewise home means you will enjoy:

  • Readiness to safely evacuate you and your family at a moments notice.
  • Potentially saving your precious family memories and heirlooms.
  • Better peace of mind: Knowing you have done all you can to prevent wildfire from claiming your home.
  • Knowing you have provided safer conditions for emergency personnel to help
  • reduce their risk or even provide them with a safe shelter.
  • The confidence that your home has a good chance to survive in the event of a wildfire.
  • Higher probability that emergency personnel will defend your home and community if the resources are available.
  • Higher probability your home will survive if there are no resources to protect your home.
  • Potentially lower home insurance rates.
  • Potentially better home financing options.
  • Potentially being able to get insurance when you may not otherwise.

Firewise Starts at Home

Firewise starts with your emergency preparedness plan and then moves to your home. To a fire, your home is fuel.

Firewise mitigation addresses the Home Ignition Zone through various means. Prepare that zone to deny wildfire the conditions of combustion and you will be ready. A few of the steps you can take include:

  • Removing debris from your roof
  • Closing openings that may allow embers to enter your attic and home
  • Checking gutters for debris & removing the debris
  • Replacing plastic gutters with metal gutters that can’t burn
  • Replacing vinyl window screens with metal screens
  • Replacing vinyl windows with wood or metal windows
  • Removing combustible materials from direct contact with your home
  • Moving patio furniture & cushions away from your home
  • Removing flammables from under decks

Learn more about the steps you can take to make your home more Firewise see at www.FirewiseMaderaCounty.org

There is No Such Thing as a “Safe” Fire

Even being Firewise there are no guarantees your home will survive a major fire. But being Firewise at least you will know you have made every effort to protect you, your family, your home, your community, and emergency personnel should a wildfire strike. You will be ready to evacuate everyone safely and easily.

Because there are not enough fire engines to protect every structure, you have a responsibility to your family, and your neighbors, to take action to protect your own home & family, well before a wildfire comes to your neighborhood.

What’s Next? Let us help you get Firewise!

To get started getting Firewise please visit www.FirewiseMaderaCounty.org for complete information on how to get Firewise now.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Firewise Madera County
www.FirewiseMaderaCounty.org
Firewise Madera County is a program supported by the County of Madera Board of Supervisors implementing the Firewise Communities USA® program of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).

Madera County Firewise Coordinator Roger Maybee can be reached at rpmaybee@sti.net

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