Form your own local Fire Safe Council

Living in California means learning to live with wildfire. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t protect our communities from the catastrophic effects of wildfire. Local Fire Safe Councils are a foundation for wildfire preparedness in our communities. The YCFSC relies on local Fire Safe Councils to help us better understand the needs of our communities. Starting a local Fire Safe Council is a grass roots effort that involves public and private partners in your community who are at risk of loss from wildfire.

With help from the Yolo County Fire Safe Council you can form a community Fire Safe Council that helps create peace of mind for your neighborhood.

Why form a Fire Safe Council?

  • Due to climate change, fires are occurring more frequently and fiercely than is typical for California.
  • Experts predict higher temperatures and continued drought in the Western US will create more frequent, larger intensity wildfires.
  • You live in a high fire area of Yolo County or are concerned about wildfire impacting your neighborhood.
  • You are looking for an opportunity to voice concerns about public safety fire related issues in your community.

Step 1: Get started

  • Gauge community support in your neighborhood and collect contact information for potential members. 
  • Find a leader. 
  • Build a core group of decision makers
    • Form a board of 3 to 5 people with time commitments from each individual for terms.
    • Reach out to Yolo County Fire Safe Council, local agencies like Fire Dept/Districts, Homeowners Associations, etc.
  • Identify a focus for your council.
  • Identify a community council boundary area. 

Step 2: Spread the word

  • Create fliers or reach out to Yolo County Fire Safe Council for outreach materials (brochures, infographics, flyer templates, etc.)
  • Create a social media page(s) dedicated to your new Fire Safe Council.
  • Post on the NextDoor app to encourage new members to join.
  • Create an email list to send out newsletters or other important information.
  • Develop a communication network for members to stay involved and informed.

Step 3: Hold meetings

  • Develop a regular meeting schedule and location. 
  • Respect attendees time so be sure to create a standardized and organized meeting schedule to allow folks to plan ahead.
  • Make meetings valuable by keeping control of the meeting while allowing conversation and engagement.
  • Host guest speakers to inform your community council about important issues, relevant programs, and news. Be sure to transition to speakers in a timely manner so as not to go over the time limit. 
    Possible topics include: 
    • defensible space
    • home hardening, 
    • prescribed grazing
    • firesafe landscaping
    • Certified Arborists
    • Firewise Communities

Step 4: Stay engaged

  • Be aware of volunteer burnout. Without a connection to purpose and an excitement for this work, volunteers can become tired, cynical, and detached. 
  • Be honest about duties, time commitments, and have stable and open lines of communication.
  • Stay in tune to real estate changes to bring in new residents. 
  • Keep the reward in mind: community unity for a common goal of neighborhood preservation and awareness around wildfire. 

Step 5: Work with the county FSC

  • Attend YCFSC’s monthly meetings to learn about funding opportunities, programs, educational materials, and more!

Contact us for assistance

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