RED FLAG WARNING for Alameda County from 10-28-2023 at 05:00 AM until 10-29-2023 at 05:00 PM. Gusty offshore winds & dry conditions.
Oakland Firesafe Council

About the Oakland Firesafe Council

Cal New Student Service Day Garber Park 2
Volunteers regularly work to reduce the fuel load in Oakland parks and open spaces: Cal-New Students Work Day at Garber Park


Established in 2014, we are residents of Oakland, CA, survivors of the 1991 Oakland Firestorm/Tunnel Fire, open space/park stewards and other volunteers committed to reducing the risks of wildfire in Oakland and other high fire risk areas of Alameda County.

Initially, Ken and Dinah Benson had started a non-profit organization to support Oakland’s Dunsmuir House and Gardens. The City took back both oversight and responsibility for the grounds so the non-profit was terminated and its remaining funds used to start the Oakland Firesafe Council (OFSC).

Ken and Dinah quickly engaged others including Sue and Gordon Piper who were survivors of the 1991 Oakland Firestorm. An intern/graduate student from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley was brought in to perform a statewide best practices survey of wildfire vegetation inspections, vegetation management and community education/outreach. The results of the survey were used to create OFSC’s strategic plan and direction and were shared with other Firesafe Councils and communities throughout California.

Many of OFSC’s volunteers and Board members had previously served on Oakland’s Wildfire Prevention Assessment District (WPAD) Advisory Committee, dating back to 2004, and had gained extensive and valuable experience with wildfire prevention and vegetation management techniques. The WPAD ordinance was unfortunately not renewed in 2014, but efforts are underway to re-introduce a WPAD program in 2024.

In 2018 Ken, Dinah and Sue met with Doug Mosher to discuss how to fill the void created by the demise of Oakland’s CORE emergency preparedness training program (since superseded by Oakland’s CERT training program.) This led to our current wildfire prevention programs, including Firewise USA®, our preparedness Guides and workshop, and our regular community outreach newsletters, that have been presented to and utilized by thousand’s of Oakland residents.


Our focus is education and outreach, primarily through our preparedness programs, and advocacy at the local, regional, state and national level. While there is increasing attention on wildfire prevention at all of these levels, we believe OFSC brings knowledge, experience and urgency to the needs of residents living in the unique environment of the wildland/urban interface. The Oakland Firesafe Council is an affiliate of the Diablo Firesafe Council, serving Alameda and Contra Costa counties.


President: Elizabeth Stage
Vice Chair: Doug Mosher
Secretary: Ken Benson
Treasurer: Mike Kilian

Board Members

Lin Barron
Ken Benson
Barbara Goldenberg
Lisa Jacobs
Michael Kilian
Martin Matarrese
Steve Mendelson
Doug Mosher
Dee Rosario
Robert Sieben
Elizabeth Stage
Allene Warren

Preparedness Program Manager

Doug Mosher

Firewise USA® for Oakland Lead

Joelle Fraser

Outreach and Communications

Jen Grimm