Has your home’s fire insurance been cancelled (or in danger of being cancelled)?  We want to hear from you!

As California experiences increasingly devastating wildfires, we’re hearing that more and more neighbors’ insurance providers are cancelling their policies.  As of now this information is mostly anecdotal which is why we’re conducting the following important survey.

The Oakland Firesafe Council, in partnership with the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association*, is gathering data to determine how extreme the impact of California’s wildfires is on the fire insurance policies of our residents. We need your help putting some shape to this critical issue. Can you take just a few minutes to fill out a short survey? If you want to tell a longer story about your situation, please email with details.

*If you’ve already filled out the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association version of the survey, we thank you and there is no need to complete this one.  However, you can provide additional help to the study by sharing this with your friends and neighbors who live elsewhere in Oakland and Alameda County.

OFSC Supports Berkeley Measure FF–Fire, Emergency Services and Wildfire Prevention Tax

At its September 26, 2020 meeting, the Oakland Firesafe Council voted to support Berkeley’s Wildfire Prevention Measure FF appearing on the November 3rd ballot. The Oakland Firesafe Council is a nonprofit community-based organization focused on education and outreach about wildfire prevention throughout Alameda County. Measure FF will strengthen regional efforts to prevent the start of wildfires and reduce the spread of such fires should they begin.Given the numerous and devastating fires of 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2020, Measure FF is timely and critical in the East Bay’s efforts to keep people and properties safe from wildfire.

City Provides Update on Resolution Making Wildfire Prevention a City-wide Priority

On November 19, 2019, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed a resolution proposed by Council Members Sheng Thao (District 4) and Dan Kalb (District 1), and endorsed by the Oakland Firesafe Council and many other neighborhood organizations, designating Wildfire Prevention a top priority for the City of Oakland.  A special Wildfire Safety Town Hall Meeting was held Monday August 31 from 6-7:30 pm, where members of the City’s Internal Wildfire Prevention Task Force to provide an update on:

  1. The extent to which the strategies will involve multi-disciplinary and multi-agency teams in the development of pre-fire plans,
  2. What wildfire prevention plans will include such as home hardening, evacuation and other wildfire prevention strategies for both private and public properties, and public communication strategies, before, during and after a wildfire event, and
  3. The extent to which wildfire prevention will be addressed in the next updates to the City’s General Plan, Safety, Open Space, Hazard Mitigation Plans and other similar plans.

Click here for the full resolution
Click here for OFSC’s letter to the Public Safety Committee

Wildfire Prevention and Covid-19

Click here for an update on Covid-19 impact on City of Oakland budget and upcoming wildfire prevention efforts.
May 11, 2020 Town Hall Meeting on Wildfire Prevention

One of the key lessons we hear and read about all over the world is how neighbors are reaching out to each other to provide support—from making grocery runs, to weekly gatherings online or from across the street.  We encourage you to connect with your neighbors to provide support and to find new ways to turn staying at home away from total isolation.  OFSC’s Oakland Community Preparedness and Response (OCP&R) program offers some tips and tools that might be useful.  We encourage you to comment on this post with your creative ideas for connecting with family, neighbors, friends, school friends, co-workers during this universal experience.

Click here for a list of requirements under Oakland’s Annual Wildfire Prevention Inspections.

Oaklandside: Oakland Fire Season and Air Quality: Your Questions Answered–September 1, 2020

We’ve put together a list of reliable resources to help you adapt to the short and long term impacts of isolating at home for an unknown period of time. Click here for the latest.

Oakland Firesafe Council Endorses Concept of a Regional Wildfire Prevention Management Agency for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

As the recent lightning caused wildfires throughout the state have shown, wildfire knows no political boundaries.  Regional Wildfire Prevention where planning and implementation is coordinator by cities, counties and large property holders offers a more effective approach.   At our March 21, 2020 meeting, we again joined the Claremont Canyon Conservancy and other wildfire prevention partners endorsing the concept of forming a Joint Powers Agreement for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties to form the East Bay Wildfire Prevention Agency. As a show of community support for this effort, we are seeking tax deductible donations to the “JPA Seed Fund“. For details, contact Jon Kaufman at Jonk@solem.com.

Homeowners in Wildland Urban Interface Struggle with Insurance coverage; Proposed AB 2367 put on hold.

After going back and forth all spring and summer on AB 2367 and companion bill SB 242, Sacramento let the bills die in committee due to “Too much controversy”  details from CalMatters of 8/30/20.

Most people know they have credit scores that help determine whether they get a loan and what their interest rate will be. They probably don’t know that if they live in the West, they have a wildfire risk score that could influence whether they get homeowners or renters insurance and how much they will pay.  more here from the San Francisco Chronicle of 12/15/19

Most California Insurers Don’t Incentivize Fire Prevention–San Francisco Chronicle 2/22/20.

OFSC Comments on Concerns about Latest Version of  Vegetation Management Plan to Reduce Wildfire Risk and Upcoming Environmental Review

More than 30 neighborhood leaders and park stewards in Oakland’s wildland/urban interface signed a letter originated by the Oakland Firesafe Council registering concerns with this latest draft of the Vegetation Management Plan. “Our biggest concern is that the document uses a standard forestry approach to managing vegetation that doesn’t appear to have been tailored to Oakland’s unique topographic, vegetative and weather conditions. The standard fuel models referenced in the VMP only model surface fuels, not crown fires or wildfire/house fire combinations. The forestry model is inappropriate to an urban/wildland interface where residential structures with inhabitants close together add fuel and higher risk to the situation.  Click here to read the November 27, 2019 letter.

Click here to read OFSC recommendations for scoping of the Environmental Review  of the plan.

Click here to review the plan  https://oaklandvegmanagement.org/#documents.  

The Oakland Fire Department manages vegetation on CITY-OWNED property in the Oakland hills to reduce the risk of devastating wildfires. Most of the Oakland the hills fall within the state’s High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones as designated by Cal-Fire. The draft Vegetation Management Plan will serve as the scope for the Environmental Impact Review (EIR), so your comments are critical so that they can be incorporated into the specifications for the EIR. A video, power point presentation and several fact sheets are available at https://oaklandvegmanagement.org/#documents.

Sign up to receive project updates by signing up on the website to receive project notifications by email.contact us/VegManagement.

Website:   www.oaklandnet.com/VegManagement
MAIL: 150 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 3354, Oakland, CA 94612, ATTN: Oakland Vegetation Management Plan
Twitter or Facebook.

OFSC Launches Oakland CP&R– Disaster Preparedness and Response workshops across the Oakland Hills

The Oakland Community Preparedness and Readiness Program (OCP&R) workshops are intended to educate and assist Hill’s residents, businesses and other stakeholders on:

  • creating organized neighborhoods
  • establishing Firewise USA certified neighborhoods that could improve insurability
  • receiving CORE and Neighborhood Watch training and certification
  • understanding evacuation procedures, best practices and potential routes
  • establishing local emergency supplies and shelters
  • establishing and practicing emergency radio communications

Click here for details

Click here for the latest progress report
Click here for the Q3 2019 progress report

To join the small team planning these efforts, or for additional information, please contact us at Doug Mosher, OCPR Program Manager.

Ways to prepare for Public Safety Power Outages and Defensible Space

Thank You, Oakland

Thank you, Oakland, for supporting Oakland Firesafe Council accomplishments this past year. Click here for more.