Fire season returns every year. We live in a high fire danger area, so extra steps are required to help with your safety. This talk in our weekly Lunch & Learn series will explain how to protect your home with a defensible space around it. We’re only as safe as our neighborhoods.

Today’s speaker, Marta Van Loan, is an active member of Martinez Area CERT and was instrumental, with Judi Clark, in establishing Martinez as a Firewise Community in 2019. Marta’s activities have included working with CoCo County Fire Protection District’s Kathy Woofter, and a team of 12 CERT volunteers to coordinate fire prevention and weed abatement surveys in the high fire zone area along the Alhambra ridge line and into Alhambra Valley. 2021 will mark the 5th year Martinez CERT volunteers will survey properties and educate homeowners in the high fire prone areas on fire risk reduction and prevention.

Helpful Resources

Martinez is a Firewise Community! Check out some of our community activities.

Firewise USA® has online resources that can help you build your knowledge in 4 easy steps:

  • First, visit the program’s Home Ignition Zone resource page. There, you can read more about the risks to homes by wildfire embers and actions you can take in the “Immediate”, “Intermediate”, and “Extended” zones from your home to reduce those risks.
  • Second, view the 30-min, “Understanding the Wildfire Threat to Homes”, online training video. This engaging video will help you understand the basics of how wildfires progress, ignite homes, and the actions that can be implemented to make homes safer.
  • Third, read the various Wildfire Research Fact Sheets, created by NFPA and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. These will take your strong knowledge of the home ignition zone and apply it to risk areas around your house, like vents & under-eave construction, roofing materials, skylights, siding, decks, and fencing.
  • Fourth, put this knowledge into action by viewing the 30-min, “Community Wildfire Risk Assessment”, online interactive tutorial. You will learn how to evaluate your community’s strengths and vulnerabilities to wildfire and define action plans that you and your neighbors can accomplish.

Spanish online courses