Firewise was developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and is a cooperative effort among local, state, federal and private agencies and organizations to promote fire safety in the wildland/urban interface.

Firefighters do not have the resources to defend every home during a wildfire. Firewise communities are those that have taken appropriate measures to mitigate or prevent wildfire structural damage.

There is a 2,500-dwelling maximum for a Firewise community. Because Agoura Hills has approximately 7,500 dwellings, we have elected to take an HOA-by-HOA or community approach to qualify for the program.

Agoura Hills has started to achieve the objectives of the Firewise program by addressing the four major components of the program. The following four steps are required to become a Firewise-recognized community:

  1. Create a board or committee of volunteers to represent your community
  2. Complete a Community Risk Assessment 
  3. Develop a three-year action plan
  4. Compile volunteer hours

CLICK HERE to go to the Agoura Hills Firewise page to understand the details of how your HOA or neighborhood can qualify. Each HOA in Agoura Hills can apply to qualify as Firewise Recognized, and the non-HOA areas can as well. You can also reach out to us to schedule a presentation and discussion with your community.

HOA and community presentations will involve partners such as the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Los Angeles County Fire Department. You will walk away from these discussions with a good understanding of the requirements of the program, and how your community can quickly move forward. We are here to help in this process!

One requirement worth discussing here is the annual volunteer hour requirement for performing Firewise activities. The number of hours to qualify must be equal to the number of homes in each community, or another way of saying this is that you must average one hour per home per year. So, if you have 100 homes in your HOA, you need 100 Firewise Volunteer hours annually. There are a large number of such qualifying activities that you or your gardener may do on a regular basis, such as cutting grass to 4” or less, trimming trees and bushes, removing trees or bushes, making certain improvements to the structure of your home, and many more. Even hours spent watching related videos or reading-related documents (many provided on our website under the Resources page) will qualify. There is also a formula that enables you to convert dollars spent on contractors or material into Firewise Volunteer Hours.

CLICK HERE to see or download a PDF of a comprehensive list of Firewise activities.

When you perform these activities, we provide a very simple way for you to capture the hours on our website. CLICK HERE to submit the hours that you or your contractor have spent. You can enter this weekly or monthly for typical yard maintenance activities, and convert gardener and contractor hours from dollars to hours, and enter them.

The good news is that we track all of the hours and vegetation removed (when required) for each of the HOAs in Agoura Hills and in the non-HOA areas of Agoura Hills. We generate a report that we provide back to the HOA to keep you informed on your progress toward your annual Firewise Volunteer hour goal.

This is truly a community effort that helps to protect both your individual home and your local and broader community from wildfire. We look forward to working with you!

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