American River Watershed Institute
Fire Safety Project | Problem: Fire in California

Communities and Neighborhoods Work Together

As people move into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the problem of fire safety is magnified. With more lives and property at risk, fire protection and emergency responders need to reach the location of an event quickly, and need to control a fire as soon as possible. Residents living in our forested landscape can work in neighborhood groups or as a whole community to plan and implement fire safety measures.
The Sierra Nevada has had the third fastest growing population of any California region since 1990. After tripling to 664,000 between 1970 and 1998, the region's population is projected to surpass one million by 2020.
"Sierra Nevada Wealth Index", Sierra Business Council (2000)
Current estimates show that between 1990 and 2040, the population of the Sierra Nevada will triple to the size of San Diego (somewhere between 1.5 million and 2.4 million residents).
Sierra Nevada Alliance (2005)

The purpose of community fire planning is to . . .

  • Empower communities to organize, plan, and take action on issues impacting community safety
  • Enhance levels of fire resistance and protection to the community
  • Identify the risks of wildland/urban interface fires in the area
  • Identify strategies to reduce the risks to homes and businesses in the community during a wildfire