The increased risk of wildfires in California has created an urgency to improve home resistance to ignition. Hardening homes and creating defensible space are the best ways to help protect homes and structures from wildfire. Defensible Space creates a buffer between a structure and the vegetation that surrounds it. Home Hardening addresses the most vulnerable components of a structure with building materials and installation techniques that increase resistance to heat, flames, and embers that accompany wildfires. Many home hardening measures are simple, low-cost retrofits for buildings and structures that decrease flammability potential.
MWPA and its member agencies will provide funding and technical resources to conduct defensible space structure and landscape evaluations to help owners/stewards of homes and other structures achieve effective defensible space and home hardening. The evaluations will support applicable fire and building codes and offer resources for understanding home hardening and defensible space concepts, and MWPA will provide follow up assistance as needed to apply these efforts to create fire adapted communities.
MWPA currently administers the following programs to help residents within its jurisdiction make their homes and properties more resistant to wildfire. The following programs are funded by Measure C “core funds” for cross-jurisdictional projects (60% of MWPA budget) and/or Defensible Space and Home Hardening projects (20% of MWPA budget). Additional programs may be available from local fire agencies through Local Wildfire Prevention Mitigation (Local) funds (20% of MWPA budget) or from other funding sources. See member agency websites or the MWPA Work Plans for specific project details about Local projects.