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What can be done to improve the chances that a home will survive wildfire? The good news is that research has demonstrated that by careful attention to the selection, location and maintenance of vegetation and other combustibles on the property (i.e., the defensible space on the property), implementing retrofits to “harden” the home, and implementing an ongoing maintenance program, it is possible to substantially improve the odds that a home will survive a future wildfire. These actions do not have to be costly, but they do require an understanding of the three types of exposures a home will experience when threatened by a wildfire. 

Zones before and after

Available Resources

Reducing the Vulnerabilities of Buildings to Wildfires Video Presentation
Speaker Yana Valachovic 07/23/2020

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
Fire Resources and Information

Disaster Safety Organization
Prepare for Wildfires

National Fire Protection Association
Public Education - Research Fact Sheet Series

UCANR Publication 8695
Reducing the Vulnerability of Buildings to Wildfire: Vegetation and Landscaping Guidance

Humboldt County FLASH Program
     The Fire-adapted Landscapes & Safe Homes Program, better known as "FLASH", is a cost share program designed to assist property owners with reducing their risk to wildfire by thinning flammable vegetation around their homes and along key access routes. This grant-funded program has been active intermittently since 2010 and has helped reduce hazardous vegetation on hundreds of acres across Humboldt County. The current program aims to treat at least 330 acres across Humboldt County by early 2024. 
     The program focuses on high wildfire hazard areas in Humboldt and will reimburse property owners on a per acre basis. While the program will be open to all Humboldt County residents, priority will be given to participants who meet the criteria of senior (65+), alter-abled, and/or low income. It will also be a priority of the FLASH program to increase the effectiveness of vegetation treatments by incentivizing participation from adjacent properties, particularly in high risk areas, so as to create a landscape (rather than islands) of defensible space within target neighborhoods.

Wildfire Home Retrofit Guide
Nevada Extension Publication

Preparing Your Home
Preparing Home Landscaping
Defensible Space    
Fire Resistant Plants