While our ongoing operating costs (insurance, etc.) is funded by supporters like yourself, Safer West County also works to identify and secure funds for our area from state, county, and federal governments and other organizations to reduce our risks (fire and other) and improve our emergency preparedness for disasters. We partner with local fire departments and other organizations to create resilient communities. If this is an area you would like to get involved with, please reach out.
Together, let’s make our communities safer!
Safer West County Calfire Grant Award
Safer West County and Fire Safe Sonoma received a 2022 CALFIRE grant to support four West County communities in creating and maintaining defensible space and to build the capacity of our local Fire Safe organizations! This three-year grant will be unfolding in the communities of Forestville, Monte Rio, Camp Meeker, and Occidental. We plan to apply for similar grants for each of our other communities in West County who have an active Fire Safe organization ready to ensure its success. Two key elements of this award are offering free chipping and providing rebates for defensible space work, described in more detail below.
Use our interactive Safer West County Defensible Space Project Area map to see if your location is within the project area.
Chipping Element of Calfire Grant
The grant includes the purchase of chippers leased to local fire departments in:
- Camp Meeker,
- Monte Rio, and
Our goal is to help residents do more fuel reduction work without the cost of renting chippers or hiring companies to do the chipping or burning materials.
Your local fire department crew will be doing the actual chipping. Your local Fire Safe organization is orchestrating requests for chipping by neighborhood to help the crew be as efficient as possible with their work.
If you are interested in helping organize your neighborhood and surrounding community, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are many ways to get involved—both big and small, to ensure this valuable asset best serves your area.
- There is no cost for this program.
- The Fire Department crew will transport the chippers and handle all the chipping.
- All chips will be left on site unless you arrange to haul
- Volunteers are welcome and can speed the work and get more done by hauling debris closer to the fire crew when piles are not directly next to a street.
- Work Parties: You can also create work parties along neighborhood roadsides doing limbing and trimming while fire crews chip the debris to improve evacuation routes. If you would like to partner with your fire department to host a Work Party, please contact @email@example.com for help arranging an event.
- Priority will be given to neighborhoods that have. multiple property owners participating—so gather your neighbors together! (Each property needs to apply separately.)
- Other than prearranged work parties with chippers, all piles must be assembled prior to application for chipping.
Your Fire Safe group will be your contact for this program, NOT the fire department. If you need information, beyond what is provided here and on your application form, please email us at Chippers@SaferWestCounty.org.
Because the fire department crews are chipping in between their other important responsibilities, we cannot give you exact dates when chipping will occur in your area; however, your local Fire Safe group will coordinate your area’s work and try to give you approximate dates when possible.
Rebate Element of Calfire Grant
The grant includes up to a $1000 cost-share to 400 primarily low-income households for defensible space work in the same four communities. The chippers placed in each community’s fire department will assist participants process debris from the defensible space work.
Our goal is to help residents have a clear idea of their priorities and financial support to tackle them.
Defensible space, coupled with home hardening, is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. The first 100 feet around your home is known as defensible space because it is your home’s defense from external fire and is the space firefighters would use to defend your home in the event of a wildfire. You can learn more about defensible space at https://saferwestcounty.org/defensible-space/.
Because we are only as safe as our surrounding areas, priority will be given to applications of neighboring parcels. If you are interested in helping organize your neighborhood and surrounding community, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are many ways to get involved—both big and small, to ensure this valuable asset best serves your area.
- Homes require an assessment to qualify. This can be a Calfire or local fire department, or other qualified assessment or Safer West County and your local Fire Safe organization can help you get a free assessment.
- Once approved, homeowners can hire the contractor of their choice to do the work.
- Once the work is complete, applicants will submit their receipts to Fire Safe Sonoma for payment of 66% of the invoice, up to $1000.
- We realize that $1000 will not go far, so we recommend you start with the first 5 feet around your home or the highest risk area identified in the assessment of your defensible space.
- Priorites and ranking of applications: This grant is on a first come, first serve basis and will be available until funds run out. Priority is given to low income applicants. For those individuals who want to do the work and take advantage of the grant, but do not have the resources to pay their 33% share of the cost share, SWC has received a matching grant from Sonoma County’s 5th District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins. Up to $500 scholarships are available for a limited number of applicants.
- Priority will also be given to neighborhoods that have multiple property owners participating—so gather your neighbors together! (Each property needs to apply separately.)
If you need information, beyond what is provided here and on your application form, please email us at Incentives@SaferWestCounty.org.
We will be adding a list of contractors soon although you are also welcome to use your own.
Chipping Outside Calfire Grant – County Wide
Sonoma County offers a Curbside Chipper Program and accepts residential applications here. The service supports residents of unincorporated Sonoma County in creating defensible space around their homes and neighboring roadsides and reduces vegetation along access routes.
To learn more about the program guidelines and how to apply, property owners in the unincorporated Sonoma County may visit Permit Sonoma’s Curbside Chipper Program webpage.
Safer West County received a Listos grant provided material to hand out at events, table cloths, shade tent, and signage. This grant also includes a set of tools for fuels reduction work. The event supplies and tools are available for any Safer West County community organization to borrow. Contact info@SaferWestCounty.org for details.
In 2018 Fire Safe Occidental received funding to provide all residents with green reflective address signs to place at the intersection of their driveway and the street to make it easier for first responders to find their location in an emergency.