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How to become a Firewise USA® site

 

How does the Firewise USA® program work?

Organize it

Form a board/committee that’s comprised of residents and other applicable wildfire stakeholders. Consider inviting the local fire department, state forestry agency, elected officials, emergency manager, and if applicable the property management company to participate. This group will collaborate on identifying the site’s boundary and size. Firewise sites need to have a minimum of 8 individual single family dwelling units and are limited to a maximum of 2,500. Multiple sites can be located within a single large master-planned community/HOA.

Plan it

Obtain a written wildfire risk assessment from your state forestry agency or fire department. The assessment should be a community-wide view that identifies areas of successful wildfire risk reduction and areas where improvements could be made. Emphasis should be on the general conditions of homes and related home ignition zones. The assessment is a living document and needs to be updated every five years.

Your board/committee will develop an action plan - a prioritized list of risk reduction projects/investments for the participating site, along with suggested homeowner actions and education activities that participants will strive to complete annually, or over a period of multiple years. Action plans should be updated at a minimum of at least every three years.

Do it

Host an outreach event and work with neighbors on addressing items in the action plan. These efforts will go towards your site’s annual wildfire risk reduction investment.

At a minimum, each site is required to annually invest the equivalent of one volunteer hour per dwelling unit in wildfire risk reduction actions. If your site has identified 100 homes within its boundary, than 100 hours of work or the monetary equivalent, based on the independent sector value of volunteer time, need to be completed for that year.

Tell us about it

New applications can be completed online at portal.firewise.org. Tell us about the actions and efforts in your community to engage residents and complete mitigation work at the home level. Once all the criteria has been completed, the electronic application can be submitted. 

Please note: Individual states can request additional application requirements.

 

What happens next?

State liaisons will approve applications, with final processing completed by the NFPA.

 

Number of active Firewise USA® sites by state

Reference our interactive map to see all active Firewise USA® sites.

 

Questions? Contact the Firewise® team.


The national Firewise USA® recognition program provides a collaborative framework to help neighbors in a geographic area get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community and to reduce wildfire risks at the local level.  Any community that meets a set of voluntary criteria on an annual basis and retains an “In Good Standing Status” may identify itself as being a Firewise® Site.  
 
The Firewise USA® program is administered by NFPA® and is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.  While the NFPA® administers this program, individuals and communities participate on a voluntary basis. The NFPA® disclaims liability for any personal injury, property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from participation in the Firewise USA® program. The NFPA® also makes no guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of program guidance. 
 
As administrators of this national program, the NFPA® may use the information provided by communities in a variety of ways, including research, to obtain risk reduction success stories, and to provide value-added benefits to participants through its work with private sector entities. Please see our Privacy Policy for additional information.
 
See more information on NFPA® codes, standards, and other documents.