Firewise USA® in Big Sur


Greater Big Sur, adjacent to Los Padres National Forest, is in the wildland urban interface (WUI).  Firewise USA® was designed to help create ignition-resistant WUI communities. 

What is Firewise USA®?

Firewise USA®, created by the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA), was designed to help people learn about wildfire and how they can make their homes and communities safer.  It is based on research that shows how to prepare homes to withstand embers and prevent flames or surface fire from igniting the home and immediate surroundings, working in an area known as the home ignition zone (HIZ).  This is the home and everything around it within 100 feet.  

What are the benefits?

Becoming a recognized Firewise USA® site provides neighborhoods with a framework to assess their readiness for wildland fire and take appropriate science-proven actions to maximize ignition-resistance and safety.  Also, the insurance industry, as a whole, looks favorably on FirewiseUSA® sites.  Some individual insurers provide discounts on fire insurance for residents located in Firewise USA®-recognized communities.

What is the process to become recognized as a Firewise USA® site?

Create a board or committee for your community.  Define the community boundary, obtain a community wildfire risk assessment and create a multi-year action plan.  Complete educational and risk reduction actions identified in the plan.  Apply for Firewise USA® site recognition, report community activities annually to renew recognition status.  We envision neighborhood-based sites, rather than a single site encompassing all of greater Big Sur.

What are some of the qualifications to become a Firewise USA® site?

Requires a minimum of eight individual dwelling units.  Complete the organization, planning, actions and application steps outlined above.  

Our community is interested…what’s our next step?

Watch this 12-minute Firewise USA® Tutorial Video.  Email and we’ll schedule a discussion.  Download the Firewise USA® Recognition Program Community Wildfire Risk Assessment for further information.