March 2024
The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is the CAL FIRE program that protects life and property through the development and application of fire prevention, engineering, training and education, and enforcement. The team at CAL FIRE - OSFM are dedicated professionals committed to serving and safeguarding the people, property, and resources of California.
Welcome to the March edition of the CAL FIRE - Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Newsletter. The first day of Spring is almost upon us and that means it is time for all of us to start spring cleaning and improving our readiness for wildfire. CAL FIRE – OSFM oversees several programs and initiatives that pertain to wildfire preparedness, prevention, and resilience. This edition of the newsletter dives into some of these programs and most importantly what you, your family, and your community can do to prepare for wildfire.
The resiliency of the Butte County communities that were affected by the Paradise fire is a testament to the strength and determination of the people of Paradise and Concow, who are actively taking steps to ensure a more fire-resilient future. Together, we can ensure that the lessons learned from the Camp Fire serve as a foundation for a more secure and sustainable future for all Californians.
This Spring, Prepare Your Home and Community for Wildfire

Being ready starts with hardening your home and maintaining adequate Defensible Space around your home and property. Home Hardening means using ignition-resistant materials on and around your home to help it withstand flying embers and radiant heat. Defensible Space is the buffer created by removing dead plants, grass and weeds to help keep wildfire away from your home.

It takes a combination of Home Hardening and Defensible Space to give your house the best chance of surviving a wildfire. Click on the link below to help protect your family, home and community and check out the video above to learn how Paradise is rebuilding a more fire resilient community.
Home hardening is the term used to describe vegetation management compliance and building materials used to resist the intrusion of flames or embers projected by a wildland fire.
CAL FIRE - OSFM Unveils New Home Hardening Webpage

As a means of expanding the tools available to the public for assessing a home's vulnerability to withstand a wildfire, earlier this year CAL FIRE - OSFM unveiled a new home hardening webpage. This page features interactive and up to date information designed to break down the challenges of home hardening area by area. Home Hardening considers the relationship between your home and its exposure to nearby combustible features such as vegetation, vehicles, accessory buildings, or even miscellaneous structures like a fence. Visit the new page by following the link below.
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day—commonly shortened to Wildfire Prep Day—focuses on what you can do in and around your home to help protect against the threat of wildfires. The annual event, which is organized by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and sponsored by State Farm, takes place on the first Saturday in May.
Kick Off Your Spring Cleaning with the NFPA Wildfire Community Preparedness Day - May 4, 2024

In the wake of devastating wildfires claiming over 200 lives and wreaking havoc with property losses exceeding $45 billion in the span of three years, bolstering wildfire resilience has become an urgent imperative. Enter Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, a rallying cry for individuals and groups nationwide to unite on the first Saturday in May, joining forces to fortify their homes and communities against the relentless threat of wildfires. This annual campaign not only fosters awareness but empowers proactive measures, underscoring the collective responsibility in mitigating wildfire risks across the United States and Canada.
Upper Mark West Fire Safe Council in Sonoma County was honored last year as the 700th Firewise USA® community in California. California has the most Firewise communities in the nation. CAL FIRE Office of the State Fire Marshal's Community Wildfire Preparedness & Mitigation Division aids local communities in achieving this recognition.
Take Action in Your Community - Become a Firewise Community

The Firewise USA® program, run by the National Fire Protection Association, offers a structured approach for neighbors to team up, get organized, and boost the fire resistance of their homes and community. It's part of California's broader initiative to ready communities against wildfires. CAL FIRE - Office of the State Fire Marshal's Community Wildfire Preparedness & Mitigation Division aids local communities in achieving this recognition.

Across the state nearly 800 communities have planned, organized and implemented efforts to build wildfire resistance on a community-wide scale. Learn more about the program by following the link below and be your community's first step to being Firewise.
The Latest from the California Wildfire Mitigation Program

In February, the California Wildfire Mitigation Program (CWMP) conducted a three-day Home Ignition Zone/Defensible Space Inspector training with the San Diego County Fire Protection District (SDCFPD). A total of 17 staff members were trained to understand the importance of wildfire home hardening, including learning key skills for identifying home component vulnerabilities and how a fire pathway can spread by witnessing case studies from fire events. On the final day, assessors put their new skills to the test by using the CWMP assessment application tool to conduct a home hardening assessment in the field.
The CWMP is a joint powers authority between California Office of Emergency Services and CAL FIRE. The pilot program has been working in demonstration communities that have been identified in high fire severity zones and with socially vulnerable populations. Communities like San Diego have been instrumental in developing the framework for the program in its first phase.
Grants at Work: Wildfire Prevention in Glenn County

In the latest edition of our Grants at Work video series, CAL FIRE highlighted this wildfire prevention project in Glenn County.

Glenn County Resource Conservation District received a CAL FIRE Wildfire Prevention grant to carry out fuel reduction projects along the Sacramento River. In coordination with the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Sacramento River Corridor Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project provided treatment to overgrown vegetation within the Sacramento River Corridor by establishing fuel breaks along existing roads, trails, public access areas, structures, and property boundaries. This project not only helps to reduce the threat of wildfire in this area, but it also helps to enhance this area’s important natural habitats while bolstering flood capacity.
CAL FIRE - OSFM Webinar Series - Energy Storage Systems

Join us for the CAL FIRE - Office of the State Fire Marshal webinar series where we educate on laws, regulations, and various safety topics to increase the coordination of education and outreach from CAL FIRE - OSFM to the public and stakeholders. The latest webinar, linked above, focuses on residential and commercial energy storage systems and how these are affected by fire codes.
Fueling Resilience: CAL FIRE's Dynamic Efforts in Fuels Reduction

Fire is an essential ecological process, but in many parts of California, there's a greater risk of dangerous wildfires, droughts, and problems caused by climate change. Millions of people live near wilderness areas or places at high risk of fire. To combat this risk, CAL FIRE and our local grantees are removing overgrown vegetation through prescribed fire, tree thinning, pruning, chipping, and roadway clearance. These efforts create breaks that change fire behavior, reduce negative ecosystem impacts, and enable fire fighters to protect communities.  
More information on our fuels reduction projects can be found on the viewer below. For a statewide snapshot that includes the work being done by all our partners, check out the Interagency Fuels Treatment Dashboard on the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force website below.