As part of the State of California’s effort to strengthen community-wide resilience against wildfires, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has partnered with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to develop a state home hardening initiative to retrofit, harden, and create defensible space for homes at high risk to wildfires, focusing on high socially-vulnerable communities and providing financial assistance for low- and moderate-income households. Known as the California Wildfire Mitigation Program (CWMP), this effort encourages cost-effective wildfire resilience measures to create fire-resistant homes, businesses, public buildings and public spaces. Mitigation measures such as home hardening, vegetation management, defensible space, and other fuel modification activities provide neighborhood or community-wide benefits against wildfire.
The following documents include additional information relating to the business plan, assembly bill (no. 38) and joint exercise of powers agreement between Cal OES and Cal FIRE for the California Wildfire Home Hardening Program.
The California Wildfire Mitigation Program (CWMP) Board Meeting will take place on June 24, 2022 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The in-person location will be at: 10370 Peter A McCuen Blvd. (Yosemite Conference Room, 2nd Floor, Building E), Mather, CA 95655. These meetings are open to the public except when specifically noticed otherwise in accordance with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. The virtual meeting waiting room will open at 9:30 AM via Zoom Meeting. Please click here to view the board meeting agenda, in-person meeting location, and virtual meeting information with the Zoom link.
San Diego, Shasta, and Lake Counties were prioritized as pilot areas for this Program after conducting a statewide analysis at the parcel and census-tract level of areas with high wildfire risk and social vulnerability. Fire risk, climate change risk factors, and census data were included in the analyses.
The five social vulnerability factors prioritized for this Program include:
residents over age 65
residents in poverty
residents with a disability
residents with limited English
residents without a car
In addition, the analysis used social vulnerability data from the Center for Disease Control Social Vulnerability Index (2018) and only considered census tracts in the Fire Hazard Severity Zones.
To qualify, participants must:
Be the legal property owner in an eligible area at the time of application
Be willing to participate in a home assessment to determine the measures which may be taken to safeguard your home
Be willing to sign a right of entry to your property and allow contractors to implement the defensible space and home hardening activities
Additional information and application details for interested homeowners:
Dulzura area homeowners in San Diego County (91917)
Whitmore area homeowners in Shasta County (96096)
Kelseyville-Riviera area homeowners in Lake County (95451)
Homeowners located in the pilot phase communities can apply here.
If your application has been approved, the Program will provide a home hardening assessment to determine what improvements need to be made.
Wildfire Home Hardening includes retrofitting homes with fire-resistant materials and creating defensible space around homes and communities. Home modifications can include replacing the roofing material with a noncombustible material, installing metal gutters, and upgrading to dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass.
Defensible space, coupled with home hardening, is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. Defensible space is the buffer between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it. This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it helps protect your home from catching fire—either from embers, direct flame contact or radiant heat. Proper defensible space also provides firefighters a safe area to work in, to defend your home.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 38 in 2019 authorizing Cal OES and CAL FIRE to enter into a joint powers agreement to oversee development and implementation of the Program.