Ridgeline homes is now a Firewise community.
What is Firewise
The Firewise USA® recognition program is administered by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and provides a collaborative framework to help neighbors in a geographic area get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community and to reduce wildfire risks at the local level. The Firewise USA program is a part of California’s efforts to ensure communities are prepared against wildfire, and CAL FIRE Office of the State Fire Marshal’s new Community Wildfire Preparedness & Mitigation Division works to assist local communities in receiving this designation.
The board will collaborate with our local wildfire expert to complete a community wildfire risk assessment. The assessment is a community-wide view that identifies areas of successful wildfire risk reduction and areas where improvements could be made. Emphasis should be on the general conditions of homes and related home ignition zones. The assessment is a living document and needs to be updated at a minimum every 5 years.
The board will use the risk assessment to create a three-year action plan, broken down by year, that identifies and prioritizes actions to reduce ignition risk to homes. These can include community wide investments along with suggested homeowner actions and education activities that participants will strive to complete annually, or over a period of multiple years. This document is required to be updated at least every three years. As circumstances change (e.g., completing activities, experiencing a fire or a natural disaster, new construction in community, etc.), the action plan may need to be updated more frequently
Each year, neighbors complete educational and risk reduction actions identified in the plan. These go towards your site's annual reporting efforts.
At a minimum, each site is required to annually invest the equivalent of one volunteer hour per dwelling unit in wildfire risk reduction actions. We have 114 homes in Ridgeline, that means 114 hours of work need to be completed each year. That may sound like a lot, but most of us spend over an hour each spring cleaning our gutters, getting the pine needles off our roofs and cleaning up around our lots. The work our gardener does also counts towards those hours. So as you can see, we easily meet the hours. We just need to log them, using this log sheet, and turn them in once a year. For more information on what you can do to make your home a more defensible one, visit https://www.nfpa.org/Education-and-Research/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire. Obviously not everything on that page can be done to defend our houses, because we are so close together, but the suggestions in the immediate zone should be easy to complete.
What does it get us
The main thing this gets us is a more fire safe community. That alone should be incentive enough, but in case it isn't, it may get you a 10-15% discount on your homeowners insurance. Download the Firewise certificate and contact your insurance company to see if they participate in the program.