Wildfire preparedness reaches another milestone with 800th community in California designated ‘Firewise’

California has once again set a record for wildfire prepared communities. This week the KenCrest Ridge community in Ventura County was honored as the 800th Firewise USA® community in the state.

The recognition by the National Fire Protection Association® highlights the steps the community has taken to ensure that wildfire risk is reduced in their area and that residents are prepared

“A large part of our wildfire preparedness strategy for the past couple of years has been to work closely with local communities and neighborhoods in earning the NFPA Firewise USA community recognition,” said Chief Daniel Berlant, state fire marshal. “Reaching the 800 community mark within a year of the 700″ community mark is a major accomplishment statewide. While we celebrate the recognition of the KenCrest Ridge community, we are grateful to all 800 communities who have worked hard to prepare their neighborhoods for wildfire.”

To complete their application, the KenCrest Ridge community worked closely with the CalFire – Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Firewise Liaison, the Ventura County Fire Department and the Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council.

“The main inspiration was and still is our shared interest and enthusiasm for making a difference in protecting our families and our properties from the devastating impact of wildfire,” said KenCrest Ridge Firewise Board Facilitator, Mario Contini. “After our KenCrest Ridge Board conducted a “street-view” assessment of all seventy homes in our site, many homeowners began taking action to reduce fire risk around their homes.”

The Firewise USA recognition program is administered by the National Fire Protection Association.

Individuals and communities participate on a voluntary basis and are recognized as a Firewise Community upon the completion of certain tasks, including forming a committee of residents and other wildfire stakeholders, obtaining a written risk assessment form, developing a three-year action plan for the community, including hosting an outreach event and ultimately completing their application to become a Firewise Community.

“The process of working together to accomplish the goals and objectives of our 3-Year Action Plan has a continuous bonding affect among our homeowners. That bonding affect is like combustible material,” said Mario Contini, “in this case, instead of a spark igniting a fire that damages life and property, it will ignite a fire under each of us to do our part for our own safety and that of our neighbors. It’s the socially responsible thing to do.”

To learn the steps and begin the process of becoming a California Firewise Community at:

ReadyForWildfire.org/prevent-wildfire/firewise-communities/.