Fire Safe Marin (FSM) is a non-profit organization that was created in 1992 as one of the first fire-safe councils in California. Because of FSM’s existing robust education and outreach program, MWPA anticipates that FSM will be the primary source of MWPA-funded wildfire preparedness and risk reduction public education efforts.
This project webpage describes the Fire Safe Marin (FSM) public education and outreach programs approved by the annual MWPA Work Plans. To learn how to prepare yourself, your property, and your community for wildfire, visit the Fire Safe Marin website.
Marin County Communication and Outreach (ongoing). Communication and outreach, with accessible information and timely responses, are critical for communities to be fire adapted and prepared. FSM will maintain a comprehensive website, post regularly to social media channels, publish a monthly enewsletter, and provide outreach coordination to ensure strong and steady communication within the Marin community. With approximately 759,000 education and outreach touchpoints in 2021-22, FSM is committed to audience growth and engagement. As of August 2022, approximately 4,500 people follow FSM on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the FSM website averages approximately 150,000 visitors per year, and the enewsletter reaches over 12,000 people.
Written Educational Material (ongoing). Fire Safe Marin will continue to create and print educational materials based on need to empower residents through knowledge and facilitate willingness to take preparative and preventative action. Examples of new projects under consideration include a Fire-Smart landscaping guide that is addressed to both homeowners and landscapers and a wildfire preparedness guide targeting the Access and Functional Needs community. Additionally, FSM will work with the MWPA Grant Manager to prepare a landscaping and home hardening services acquisition guide.
Firewise Site Support (ongoing). There are currently 78 Firewise sites in Marin County, representing 55,000 households the largest county-wide participation in the country. FSM provides these residents with resources and support to organize and learn about personal preparedness, alerts and warning, local evacuation plans, and strategies to make their community more fire-resistant.
Partner with Marin Center for Independent Living (ongoing). FSM partners with the Marin Center for Independent Living (Marin CIL) to: Advocate for the inclusion of people with access and functional needs in emergency programming, policies, and resources; Educate and empower Marin residents, particularly people with access and functional needs, to develop personalized disaster plans; and connect Marin residents to Marin CIL, Fire Safe Marin, and other organizations that provide resources to support disaster preparedness.
Ember Stomp Wildfire Prevention Festival (ongoing). FSM hosted the first ever free wildfire prevention festival in Marin on May 28, 2022. The festival was attended by more than 2,000 people and over 46 participating organizations. FSM will continue to coordinate this festival in the 2022-23 fiscal year. Partners and sponsors will prepare educational activities so that attendees leave with a specific understanding of the things they can accomplish to reduce personal and communal risk. Fire Smart landscaping and home hardening principles will be physically showcased in a demo-garden and small model house. In the interest of an engaging and celebratory atmosphere, the festival will have live music played by local musicians, artwork by local artists, food trucks and games based on the tools of wildfire prevention.
Provide Training to Marin Schools (ongoing). FSM will continue to partner with Marin schools to provide wildfire educational materials appropriate for various grade levels. FSM aims to increase the use of the Ready, Set, Go program for fifth graders and increase involvement with high school students. FSM expects to continue to support projects at Terra Linda HS and would like to expand to both public and private schools in the Ross Valley.
Spring Workshops (ongoing). FSM works with Fire Departments in each of the MWPA zones to host five interactive workshops in the Spring to highlight MWPA-funded projects in their communities. A highlight reel will be created for each zone for website posting. In addition, a summary highlight reel will be created on youtube for use by the MWPA to highlight all of the accomplishments.
Bilingual Outreach (2022-23 Work Plan). In 2021-22, FSM greatly increased the amount of Spanish educational material. This included videos, short animations and print material. This work also involved building new partnerships with representatives of the Spanish speaking community and with Marin County’s bilingual information specialist, Multicultural Center of Marin and others. This collaboration will continue through FY22-23 in order to produce content, including Spanish language educational materials, that addresses the needs of these communities.
Defensible Space Program Support (2022-23 Work Plan). Create additional FSM website content to directly link to the new MWPA home evaluation form. We will continue to support the home evaluators with written materials and training. We will also continue to host regular meetings of the fire prevention officers who manage these programs to help share best practices.
Video Outreach (2022-23 Work Plan). Short, targeted and eye-catching videos have become a preferred way to communicate ideas and reach broad audiences on demand. Capitalizing on this trend, FSM will shift its media outreach strategy from the monthly half-hour program, Wildfire Watch, to the production of independent segments (1- 6 minutes) that will be distributed through social media, on our website, YouTube Channel, newsletters and through partners’ networks. The videos are also broadcasted on Comcast Channels 26 and 30 as regular fillers between programs. Collectively the growing number of educational videos serves as a resource library for the county and beyond. For example, 85 videos were produced in 2021-22.
Adapt Campaign (2022-23 Work Plan). “Adapt to Wildfire” is a public information campaign aimed at shaping the awareness, knowledge, attitudes, social norms and behavior of Marin residents. The campaign seeks to create a “Culture of Wildfire Adaptation,” changing the conversation around wildfire from fear and apathy to empowerment. We want residents to understand that wildfire is a condition of life in Marin that we can adapt to and make adjustments to protect our homes and livelihood. Residents will make the leap from "Fire agencies need to do all the work" to "I need to do my part. We're all in this together." 9 ads were produced in 2021-22, and additional ads and distribution channels are planned for 2022-23. The Adapt to Wildfire short video received a 2022 Telly Award for excellence in video and television.
Wildfire Watch (2021-22 Work Plan). FSM produced 6 episodes of Wildfire Watch TV, a series dedicated to wildfire safety. Each 30-minute episode focused on one of FSMʼs core educational themes and delivered the message through a variety of entertaining segments, the most popular being DIY with Arann Harris and Mythbusters by Fire Chief Todd Lando. As of August 2022, Wildfire Watch and associated videos have been viewed over 20,000 times on the FSM Youtube Channel and more viewers tuning in through weekly broadcasts on Marin TV, Comcast Channels 30 and 26. Watch the entire series on the youtube playlist.
Monthly Webinar Series (2021-22 Work Plan). FSM hosted monthly webinars with expert speakers and resident Q&A on various fire preparedness topics including “How to Survive a Wildfire,” “Home Hardening,” “Fire Smart Landscaping,” “Fire Insurance,” “Defensible Space,” "Managing Vegetation in Marin’s Open Space,” “Community Organizing,” and “How Wildfires Burn in the WUI.” Watch the entire series from the youtube playlist.
Landscape Professionals Wildfire Education (2021-22 Work Plan). FSM has established a partnership with the Northern California Landscape Contractors Association (NCLCA). FSM, with support and assistance from representatives of NCLCA, developed a training program for landscape professionals. The program can be conducted in person or online. NCLCA will track course completion for its members. Contractors who have completed the course will be eligible for listing on the FSM landscape contractors page. NCLCA provides educational materials created by FSM to its members.
Mobile Home Wildfire Safety Training (2021-22 Work Plan). Mobile homes are uniquely vulnerable to wildfires. MWPA is supporting Fire Safe Marin to create a wildfire education program directed at helping this community to prepare.