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Plumas County Fire Safe using software and data to inform new wildfire resilience

In July of 2022 the Plumas County Fire Safety Council expanded a “by request” software pilot to now support all Plumas County residents with home hardening evaluations. Fire Aside’s Defensible Space Evaluation (DSI) software helps support the team and residents as part of their recent state grant to help Plumas prevent additional wildfires. Residents are empowered with a clear, actionable roadmap that is specific to their property, including photos of vulnerable items and associated risk levels so they can prioritize costs.

The software also provides PCFSC with consistency and community ground truth from parcel level structural and vegetation data which is critical to inform the severity of issues. Liam Galleher, from the Plumas County Fire Safe Council reinforced the importance of this data for Fire Safe Councils: “as a non-profit organization our job is to understand the needs of the community and offer resources accordingly. Software like Fire Aside not only provides a service to the county but identifies other needs.”

After the first field season, the PCFSC saw that 77.2  percent of homes inspected had hazardous vegetation in Zone 0, 71.9 percent had trees overhanging structures and 70.1 percent of homes had exposed space underneath decking. This type of data was previously not available or as consistent due to reliance on manual self-reporting from residents and a lack of clarity from residents on vulnerable items.  PCFSC was able to reference Fire Aside’s data to receive a $6.8 million Community Wildfire Defense Grant to support wildfire mitigation in Plumas County.

The program roll-out in Plumas County has already made an immediate impact on the community with high engagement combining the software with face to face interaction. PCFSC has reported the following using Fire Aside’s DSI software in just four months of the program:

  • 694 hazards identified throughout properties in Plumas County

  • 117 residents received personal, face-to-face consultation on home hardening and defensible space

PCFSC plans to ramp up the partnership in 2023 with continued funding support from the California Fire Safe Council CALFIRE Country Coordinator Grant.

To sign up for a no-cost consultation on home hardening and defensible space, visit the Plumas County Fire Safe Council’s Fire Safe Home Visit page.

More About Fire Aside: Fire Aside is a software platform that supports Fire Agencies and Fire Safe Councils in their mission to help communities adapt to wildfire.  Fire Aside’s DSI software makes Defensible Space and Home Hardening evaluations easy. It currently supports over 500k high risk homes in Marin, Berkeley, Truckee, Butte, Plumas, Napa County and North Tahoe.

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