Firewise advocates proactive steps for fire-prone areas

Firewise advocates proactive steps for fire-prone areasCONTRA COSTA COUNTY — Local groups have started making inquiries into Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire)’s new Firewise USA program that is now being phased in from one fire district community to another.

“Firewise is a perfect complement to our many safety initiatives and a powerful tool helping neighbors work together along with our Fire Prevention Bureau to better protect themselves and their communities,” said Con Fire Chief Lewis T. Broschard III.

Broschard’s optimism for interest in the program stems from the numerous communities that face heightened wildfire danger due to terrain, vegetation and local evacuation route conditions.

Program involvement is based on requests from neighborhood organizations and communities. Firewise requires that communities fill out an assessment, make a resident commitment of one hour or monetary contribution annually and submit info to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Con Fire’s Community Risk Reduction Unit of the Fire Prevention Bureau will administer the local program, and Con Fire will work with neighborhood groups to complete registration. Once accepted, neighborhood committees can request Firewise assessments.

Community members interested in the Firewise program can find information at To begin the application process, neighborhood groups should email

Any community that meets a set of voluntary criteria on an annual basis and retains an “In Good Standing Status” may identify itself as being a Firewise site.

Benefits may include reduction in insurance rates and possible inclusion in risk reduction communities based on proposed California state legislation.

The Firewise program launched initially in Lafayette on Feb. 10, beginning with a community assessment on Glen Road. Other communities will be phased in in the months leading up to the typical arrival of fire season.

For more information visit the Firewise web page.