News

Fall 2023 Cal Fire Assessment Expansion

Fall 2023 Cal Fire Assessment Expansion

Cal Fire has initiated a training of people outside their organization to help expand the ease with which we can have our properties assessed. Assessments help us understand our highest risks and how to reduce them—empowering us to make our homes more fire-resilient,...

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Public Safety Power Shutoff

Public Safety Power Shutoff

A Message from PG&E For public safety, we may turn off electricity when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, are forecasted. This is called a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” or “PSPS.” When possible, we will email, phone, or text...

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Torch: Solar-Powered Outdoor Sensors Spot Wildfires

Torch: Solar-Powered Outdoor Sensors Spot Wildfires

If this thing works as advertised, it could be a lifesaver for Sonoma County residents. Torch is a cutting-edge fire detection system developed to help protect properties and the environment from the devastating effects of wildfires. Torch's innovative...

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Newsletter archives

Download Watch Duty: Handy App for Wildfire Alerts

Download Watch Duty: Handy App for Wildfire Alerts

Watch Duty is a non-profit that provides realtime alerting and monitoring of Wildfires in the American West. For updates about fires, wind conditions, etc: Watch Duty incorporates fire mapping, wind direction, Cal Fire aircraft tracking, and more. Watch Duty has...

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Resilient Landscaping Workshop Recap

Resilient Landscaping Workshop Recap

In April, Safer West County teamed up with Resilient Landscapes Coalition to present a workshop for the community all about creating and maintaining a fire-wise, sustainable garden that supports biodiversity while meeting County code requirement. Missed the event?...

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General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) in Cazadero

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) in Cazadero

Story by Mike Nicholls During and following the Walbridge Fire in 2020. Cazadero had no 911 service for days – our telephone landline provider, Frontier Communications experienced a central office back-up battery failure, Comcast/Xfinity failed once their battery...

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How to Set Up a FREE Risk Assessment of Your Home

How to Set Up a FREE Risk Assessment of Your Home

From Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention: Take a critical step to reduce wildfire risks to your home by scheduling your FREE structure risk assessment today! Our home hardening contractors will identify the highest risks to your home and provide you with a personalized list...

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Fall 2023 Cal Fire Assessment Expansion

Fall 2023 Cal Fire Assessment Expansion

Cal Fire has initiated a training of people outside their organization to help expand the ease with which we can have our properties assessed. Assessments help us understand our highest risks and how to reduce them—empowering us to make our homes more fire-resilient,...

read more
Burn Pile Guide Tips

Burn Pile Guide Tips

Before you begin burning piles of debris, please make sure you have a current 2023-2024 burn permit, and that you call before you burn! And remember, Occidental, Camp Meeker, Monte Rio, and Forestville residents have free chipping service. Apply for chipping here....

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Moments in Time: Major Fires in the Occidental Area

Moments in Time: Major Fires in the Occidental Area

Fires are driven by hot dry winds that are funneled through our hilly terrain. These dangerous winds return time and again. As a physical form of our hills is fixed, fire sometimes burn the same area more than once. Native American Era, 8000 BCE to 1836 Native...

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Budget-Friendly Home Hardening Tips

Budget-Friendly Home Hardening Tips

Three resources for hardening your home that won't break the bank: A FREE Wildfire Risk Guide: Your personalized home evaluation report is organized to help you prioritize the actions you need to take to prepare for wildfire.  Budget-Friendly Vents: Vents are an entry...

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Fire-Resistant Landscaping 

Fire-Resistant Landscaping 

Are there fire safe plants? Yes and no. Remember, any plant can burn under the right conditions.  One way to help reduce your wildfire risk is to use fire-resistant landscaping around your home.   Look for plants with these characteristics: Able to...

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Easy Home Hardening Weekend Project

Easy Home Hardening Weekend Project

The reality is, there are many, many home-hardening activities you can tackle—with no money and only a little of your time. Carve out some time, learn how to reduce risk and protect your home with a few simple chores and a trip to the hardware store. What can you do...

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The Five Least Expensive Home Hardening Projects 

The Five Least Expensive Home Hardening Projects 

VENTS: UNDER-EAVE, ATTIC AND CRAWL SPACE  WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Attic, roof and foundation vents can be entry points for embers and flames. Embers that enter the attic or crawl space can ignite combustible debris that can accumulate in these spaces and also combustible...

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Residential Fire Extinguishers: Top Recommendations

Residential Fire Extinguishers: Top Recommendations

Fire classes, extinguisher numerical values, and what you should know about them. Always call 911 before attempting any fire suppression. There are five fire classes, but these are the most common:   Class A: Fires caused by ordinary combustibles like wood,...

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What is a Community Wildfire Protection Plan?

What is a Community Wildfire Protection Plan?

In 2019, Fire Safe Occidental embarked on an ambitious project to create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This work was completely driven by local volunteers. The group held community meetings, mailed out surveys to every address in the Occidental Services...

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Important Resources for Backup Power Solutions

Important Resources for Backup Power Solutions

There are many different backup power solutions that vary in size, cost, fuel and more. If you think a backup power solution may be appropriate for your home or business, PG&E has resources available that can help you with your choice. Learn more about backup...

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Public Safety Power Shutoff

Public Safety Power Shutoff

A Message from PG&E For public safety, we may turn off electricity when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, are forecasted. This is called a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” or “PSPS.” When possible, we will email, phone, or text...

read more
How To Create a Wildfire Action Plan

How To Create a Wildfire Action Plan

Your Wildfire Action Plan must be prepared and made familiar to all members of your household well in advance of a wildfire. Use the checklist below to help create your plan. Each family’s plan will be different, depending on a variety of issues, needs, and...

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How To Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit

How To Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit

The Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management has created a helpful video for creating go bags for the whole family. Watch the video and read on for a detailed checklist! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wf7zQktwpQ Put together your emergency supply kit long...

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Residential Generator Safety Guidelines & Maintenance

Residential Generator Safety Guidelines & Maintenance

Disclaimer: This list was written and compiled by Carl Wahl from multiple sourcesbetween 8/2019 and 2/2022, plus input from Stuart Tom. Still, the below should notbe considered as a comprehensive list. This list covers both portable and standby generators. A number of...

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Fire Extinguisher Inspection & Maintenance

Fire Extinguisher Inspection & Maintenance

Replace or service an extinguisher right away if it's been used (to any degree) or ifyou notice any of the following:  The hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped, or blocked with debris.  The metal locking pin on the handle is missing or if the safety seal is missing/not...

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Torch: Solar-Powered Outdoor Sensors Spot Wildfires

Torch: Solar-Powered Outdoor Sensors Spot Wildfires

If this thing works as advertised, it could be a lifesaver for Sonoma County residents. Torch is a cutting-edge fire detection system developed to help protect properties and the environment from the devastating effects of wildfires. Torch's innovative...

read more
Help with Homeowners Insurance

Help with Homeowners Insurance

By Carl Wahl Has your homeowner's insurance policy premium been skyrocketing? Or has your policy been canceled? If so, have you been having difficulty finding a new insurance carrier? This seems to be the new normal for many Californians. A number of carriers have...

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