WILDFIRE READY TODAY: Whether you rent, own a vacation home, own a forested property, or just live in a home with a backyard, we offer clear steps to help you prepare for wildfires. It all starts with your community. Step one is to engage with your neighbors and develop a plan, because one of our best defenses against wildfire is collaboration.  

WILDFIRE READY TOMORROW: The steps you take today are a great beginning, but it’s important we look at wildfire resilience over the long term. Because when we get there, the payoff is huge: A wildfire-ready home and a community of neighbors who are all working together to keep it that way.

We know that reducing wildfire risk is hard work. That’s why your local wildfire experts have created a plan for you that’s realistic, doable and makes sense for your property. Use this Wildfire Ready Plan to find your starting point and map out a plan for long-term wildfire preparedness every month, every season, and every year.

Thank you for your commitment!
    Top Priority
    Lower Cost
    Stay connected to your neighbors and lend a helping hand.
    • Stay connected to your neighbors by creating a shared list of everyone’s contact information. Once connected, stay engaged by talking to each other about the best way to prepare your home and properties for wildfire.
    • Work with your Homeowners Association, or form a neighborhood committee to create a joint action plan. You can even request a neighborhood wildfire risk assessment or apply for the national Firewise USA® site recognition program.
    • Team up with others in your neighborhood to lend a helping hand to those who aren’t able to prepare for wildfires on their own. Please follow proper masking and social distancing requirements when interacting with your fellow neighbors.
    Free - Top Priority Schedule time to talk with your local wildfire experts.
    • Request a free Wildfire Ready Home Visit to determine how you should prepare your home and its immediate surroundings. During the visit, you’ll receive tailored recommendations that will help increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. If you selected this commitment, someone from Wildfire Ready Neighbors will contact you to schedule your assessment.
    • If your property is forested, request a free Forest Health Consultation to assess your forest’s health and identify potential problems and solutions with a local forester. During the visit, a local forester will help you determine the management practices that best match your goals and are optimal for your forest’s health. If you selected this commitment, someone from Wildfire Ready Neighbors will contact you to schedule your assessment.
    • If you already signed up for a home visit or consultation on our website, hang tight! Someone will be in contact with you for scheduling. If you didn’t express interest in one of these services when you signed up, but would like to now, click here
    Support your local fire district.
    • Install reflective address signs with 4-inch lettering on your home, and where your driveway meets the main road to help first responders save lives during wildfire incidents and medical emergencies.
    • Volunteer! Local fire districts are always looking for new volunteers who want to serve the community and can dedicate their time. Not sure which fire district you’re in? Contact your county’s emergency management department.
    Are you a renter? Talk to your landlord.
    • If you’re a renter, talk to your landlord about Wildfire Ready Neighbors and the actions in this plan. By doing so, you’re helping to educate them on how to prepare your building and/or property in reducing wildfire risk. Take note that this may include steps unique to your building, like tending to flammable landscaping and common areas such as courtyards and pools.  
    Harden your home against embers.
    • To reduce ember entry, use metal panels or an 1/8-inch metal mesh to screen or box-in the area below your deck. If exterior vents are not already ember-resistant, 1/8-inch metal mesh screening should also be applied. 
    • The roof is the most vulnerable part of your home. If you have a wood roof, it is considered an extreme danger and should be replaced with Class A fire-rated materials. Even if your roof is fire-resistant, regularly inspect it for loose or missing shingles and replace as needed.  
    • Clear pine needles and leaves from your gutters and roof on a schedule that makes sense for your property – most likely on a seasonal basis. 
    Remove all flammable items within 5 feet of your home’s edges.
    • Create a non-flammable perimeter by removing all flammable items within the Immediate Zone. This includes anything flammable underneath decks or porches, as well as debris, dead vegetation, pine needles, wood fencing and other ignitable materials such as lawn furniture, newspapers, boxes, or firewood. 
    • Remove flammable mulches and plants containing resins, oils, and waxes, such as arborvitae and juniper trees to reduce risk. Choose fire-resistant plants and use non-flammable ground cover options like crushed stone and gravel.  
    Make an evacuation plan and practice it with your household.
    • Create an evacuation plan for you and your family that includes designated emergency meeting locations, escape routes, plans for pets and large animals, and other key items listed at Red Cross
    • Visit NFPA for a list of items to include in your Emergency Supply Kit, such as a regularly maintained list of emergency contact phone numbers. And, in case you can’t get home due to the nature of the emergency, be sure to keep an extra supply kit in your car. 
    • Sign up to receive notifications and public emergency alerts from your county’s emergency management department:

    Remove flammables in the Intermediate Zone.
    • Maintain healthy flowers, plants, and grasses within 30 feet of your home. Consider updating your landscaping with fire-resistant plants that need little water. See more on this below.
    • Move firewood to a location more than 30 feet away from your home. 
    • If you have a large propane tank in this zone, remove debris and any live plants from under or within 3-5 feet around the tank.  
    Prune trees and manage vegetation in the Intermediate Zone.
    • Trim branches that overhang the home, porch and deck, and prune tree branches up to 12 feet from the ground (depending on the tree’s height); for shorter trees, do not trim higher than 1/3 of the overall tree height. In some instances, this may require help from a certified arborist.
    • Plants containing resins, oils, and waxes, such as arborvitae and juniper trees, should be removed to reduce risk. Choose fire-resistant and drought-tolerant plants from this list found here. Once chosen, keep them spaced out and maintained.
    • Sign up for a free Forest Health Consultation with a local forester to learn more about specific spacing, management, and landscape recommendations based on your property’s unique characteristics. If you didn’t express interest for this service when you signed up, but would like to now, click here.
    Prune and thin trees in the Extended Zone.
    • To minimize the intensity of a wildfire, remove small conifers growing between mature trees, and create spaces between tree canopies accordingly. 
    • Specific recommendations are dependent on slope, tree species, and other landscape-specific conditions, and should be reviewed with a local forester during a free Forest Health Consultation. If you didn’t express interest for this service when you signed up, but would like to now, click here.
    • Once your consultation is complete, check out the contractors below to see who in your area can help you complete your site-specific recommendations.
    Prepare for smoky skies.
    • Establish air filtration to remove fine particles from smoky air that can result in negative health effects. Learn how to DIY a box fan filter using a furnace filter and bungee cord here:
    • Set AC units to re-circulate to keep smoke out of your home.
    When it’s smoky
    • Stay inside and stay hydrated.
    • Mask up outdoors and limit your outdoor activity. N95 masks are recommended to protect against wildfire smoke.