Being Ready for wildfire begins with maintaining your defensible space, and hardening your home with fire resistant materials.
Defensible Space Assessments
Defensible space does NOT mean removing all vegetation from around your home. Defensible space means MODIFYING and MAINTAING vegetation to reduce the intensity and speed of a wildfire when it reaches your home. As well, there are many ways to make your home more fire-resistant. Woodside Fire Protection District offers FREE assessments to residents. By calling 650-851-1594 you can set up a time with the Fire Prevention Bureau for a walkthrough of your property. They will work with you to give recommendations and create a plan to ensure your property and home are prepared for a wildfire.
For Wildland Urban Interface Code Info:
Wildfire risk in California is increasing. While climate change and decades of fuel buildup have exacerbated wildfires, ongoing home development in wildfire-prone lands is also driving wildfire risks to communities. Experts warn that the destruction seen in the past three years – including well over 100 fatalities, 40,000 structures destroyed, and nearly $40 billion in insured losses – is not an anomaly, but a look into our near future. The alarm bells are clamoring for action. Wildfires are going to happen and we cannot suppress them all, now is the time to plan and prepare before the next wildfire disaster occurs.
Fire Marshal Don Bullard
Woodside Fire Protection District
Annually Woodside Fire Protection District offers neighborhood curbside chipping services, with the program goal being to assist residents in maintaining defensible space around their homes. Dates have been posted and start in May. Although there are some restrictions, this service is provided for free!
The details are on this page.
Town of Woodside
Defensible Space and Home Hardening Matching Fund
For residents of Woodside, the Town offers a matching fund program to encourage residents to create and maintain defensible space around their homes and the perimeter of their properties, and to make their homes more fire resistant. You can apply for this grant annually, so do not hesitate to re-apply!
After you obtain an application from the Town of Woodside, it’s as simple as contacting the Woodside Fire Protection District to schedule a Defensible Space/Home Hardening assessment. Call 650-851-1594 to schedule.
Town of Portola Valley
Ad Hoc Wildfire Preparedness Committee
For residents of Portola Valley, the Town Council has formed an ad hoc committee to advise the council on wildfire preparedness. If you would like to view the committee’s recommendations and quarterly report, check them out here.
Emergency Preparedness Committees
Both Towns, Portola Valley and Woodside, Have Them
These committees work hard to help us all be better prepared. If you haven't attended one of their meetings lately, you can join via Zoom and learn how our towns are building a safer future.
Visit Woodside's EPC Page.
Visit Portola Valley's EPC Page.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
During the shelter in place order residents had to find creative ways to stay connected and ask for/provide assistance. NextDoor and PVForum were some of the ways neighbors reached out.
Do you live in an HOA? Are you part of a Neighborhood Watch group or emergency preparedness Community? These may all be great resources to connect with your neighbors and work on creating a more wildfire prepared community. Boy Scout troops and The Young Men’s Service League may also be another great resource for volunteer help.