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Oakland Firesafe Council

Working to reduce the risks of wildfire in the Oakland hills.

OFSC Supports Oakland Council Resolution Making Wildfire Prevention a City-wide Priority

Working closely with Council Members Sheng Thao (District 4) and Dan Kalb (District 1), the Oakland Firesafe Council has endorsed a resolution designating Wildfire Prevention a top priority for the City of Oakland and requesting the City Administrator to present a comprehensive report to the Public Safety Committee that addresses Oakland’s Wildfire Prevention Strategies and Planning for Oakland’s Wildland Urban Interface.  The Resolution is schedule to be discusses at the Tuesday, November 12, 2019 Public Safety Committee starting at 6 pm.

City Releases Final  Vegetation Management Plan to Reduce Wildfire Risk– Scoping Session for Environmental Review Set for November 20, 2019 at 6 pm at Oakland City Hall

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

Comments must be received  by 5 pm on December 2, 2019. Comments may be emailed to arobinsonpinon@oaklandca.gov or sent to Oakland Public Works Department, attn: Angela Robinson Pinion, OVMP-Scoping Comments, 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 4314, Oakland, CA 94612

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
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OFSC Launches Oakland CPR– Disaster Preparedness and Response workshops across the Oakland Hills

The Oakland Community Preparedness and Readiness Program (CPR) 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

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

New Study reveals Targeted Outreach and Strict Enforcement Improves Compliance with Local Inspections for Wildfire Prevention

Our 2019 Defensible Space Study found that wildfire defensible space inspection programs achieving high compliance rates share five key characteristics:

  1. Strict enforcement of compliance through eventual use of abatement authority to abate non-compliant properties;
  2. Cost recovery of abatement and associated administrative fees from property owners;
  3. Property owner outreach and education to achieve voluntary compliance;
  4. Pairing annual inspections with public complaints to help identify non-compliant properties; and
  5. Provision of complementary programs, such as chipping, when appropriate.

Click here for more details.

Recent California Fires Spur Wider Discussion: Ember Awareness

At a recent Northwestern California Community Wildfire Resiliency Gathering, representatives from Firesafe Councils and other groups learned that between 90% and 95% of homes destroyed in the recent Tubbs and Campfires were due to houses catching on fire from embers, not from   itself.  Defensible Space means more than just vegetation management.  Learn more here.

OFSC joined the Claremont Canyon Conservancy in an hour-long discussion and tour of Claremont Canyon on October 3 with 15 legislative analysts from Capitol Impact. We shared our thoughts on lessons learned from the 1991 Firestorm and suggested ways in which the State might produce legislation that would strengthen wildfire prevention for Local Resource Areas (LRAs) such as Oakland. Among our recommendations was the formation of a regional Wildfire Prevention District for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties that would provide standards, consistency and coordinated implementation of wildfire prevention efforts–for fire knows no city boundaries.  See our power point presentation here.

The Butte County “Camp Fire” – observations from the scene of California’s deadliest wildfire    The NFPA Xchange,  Michele Steinberg, January 28, 2019

A million California buildings face wildfire risk.’Extraordinary steps’ are  needed to protect them.  The Los Angeles Times, December 18, 2018

U.S. Forest Service ecologist says mega wildfires require more than suppression, urging 3-step solution, The Spokesman Review, October 28, 2018

Disaster Guide  San Francisco Chronicle, October 7, 2018
The Social Costs of Living in Wildfire-Prone Areas  East Bay Express  August 21. 2018
Should development be extinguished on California’s fire-prone hills?    Reveal News,     July 3, 2018
After deadly Carr Fire, a question of how — and whether — to rebuild 1,000 homes  
San Francisco Chronicle  August 25 2018

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

At its November 17, 2018 meeting, the Oakland Firesafe Council  approved a resolution as follows:

We support the idea of a regional wildfire prevention management agency for Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Such an agency with jurisdiction over both public and private land would be adequately funded and staffed with a science-based plan of action and the authority to implement the plan.  OFSC joins other local organizations concerned with prevention wildfires in this effort. For additional information, contact Jon Kaufman at jonk@solem.com. Click here for details: Wildland Fire Prevention

Park Like Someone’s Life Depends on it

Whether high fire season or rainy winter,  first responders need to be able to respond to emergencies quickly. We remind residents who live on narrow streets to “Park Like Someone’s Life Depends on it”.  Use your garage or driveway. If you cannot, then park away from turns in the road and leave at least 14 feet so that first responders can pass.  http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/08/30/tempers-flare-over-oakland-hills-road-access-fire-danger-concerns/

Download a pdf of a handy flyer that neighbors can leave on the windshield of parked cars that do not provide sufficient clearance.  You can also call the Oakland Department of Transportation’s Parking Enforcement Unit at 510 238-3099 for enforcement support.