mwpa news hero image

Incentivizing Home Hardening to Reduce Fire Risks in Marin County

Home hardening and maintaining defensible space around a home are critical pieces of wildfire risk reduction efforts in Marin County. The Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA), a 17-member agency funded through a parcel tax to undertake cross-jurisdictional fire prevention efforts, runs grant programs to help residents undertake home hardening retrofits and to maintain their defensible space. MWPA’s home inspection program provides residents with inspection reports that recommend specific measures.

While there has been considerable uptake of grant programs - currently, funds for home hardening grants have been exhausted, only three months into the fiscal year - MWPA is seeking to redesign its grant program to better incentivize residents to undertake a combination of measures that actually reduce fire risk. For example, many residents are requesting funds to replace windows, but if vegetation is still present beneath the window, fire risk has not been reduced.

To help inform MWPA’s efforts, this project will involve a review and analysis of incentive programs in other communities in California and beyond. For example, this review may include grant programs funded in several counties through the California Wildfire Mitigation Program. The review should also include current literature on the role of home hardening and defensible space in reducing fire risks and how this informs policies to incentivize these actions (for example, November 2023 article in Science, “Adapting to growing wildfire property risk”) and literature on risk perception and individual decision-making regarding home hardening (for example, this 2022 article in the journal Natural Hazards on understanding home hardening actions by homeowners). 

Related News

mwpa news image

Understanding Wildfire Behavior with Mark Brown

October 9, 2023

Learn More
mwpa news image

Marin Living Spotlight

July 6, 2023

Learn More
mwpa news image

Greater Novato Shaded Fuel Break Gains Press Attention

May 8, 2023

Learn More
mwpa news image

GNSFB Press Release

May 3, 2023

Learn More