Protecting Life and Property in the Matilija Canyon Extreme Hazard Zone

    Project 015 - Protecting Life and Property in the Matilija Canyon Extreme Hazard Zone
    Project Code: 12USFS-SFA137
    Funding: $60,500 ($29,975 Federal, $30,525 non-Federal match funds)
    Funding Source: California Fire Safe Council, from USDA Forest Service
    Timing: Jan 1, 2012 through Jun 30, 2013
    Status: Completed

    Matilija Canyon is one of the most hazardous areas for wildfire threat providing the only land-based ingress and egress for residents and emergency personnel.

    The objective of the project was to support and enhance residents’ dead vegetation, and to separate healthy plants so that they don’t ignite others nearby or create “ladder” fuels that climb into the treetops.

    Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council contracted with C.R.E.W. for the ground work, and along with the Ventura County Fire Dept., we were able to achieve our goal of clearing around each structure in the residential area of the canyon. Additionally, we were successful in raising awareness of wildfire risks and safety strategies in all the homeowners through education and participation from them.

Ojai Valley Wildfire Prevention and Safety Education Project

    The Ojai Valley Wildfire Prevention and Safety Education Project is a comprehensive community education and action initiative that directly engages a large number of community residents.One of the most exciting aspects of this project is that it cost effectively integrates a number of smaller initiatives that work together synergistically to maximize the value and positive impact of the program.

    Components of this project include: production of an educational brochure from existing content. Door to door canvassing and neighborhood presentations, specialized education programs for farmers & ranchers, students and landscaping professionals. A Wildfire Prevention and Safety Fair for the entire valley, improvements to our award winning online education system, creation of a web based utility allowing families to quickly and easily create their own "Family Safety Plan"


    The content for the physical brochure will be drawn (with permission) from existing, established and well?founded programs. Based primarily on the Take Responsibility materials produced by the California Fire Alliance, and adding materials from the Ready, Set, Go! program, the content in this brochure will be used throughout the education initiative.


    Neighborhoods in the valley will be canvassed by specially trained CERT volunteers, who will deliver brochures and invite residents to outdoor presentations, giving slide shows, answering questions, providing resources and encouraging direct action on the part of the homeowners. Specially designed presentations will be delivered to farmers, ranchers and other owners of large properties which have additional safety needs.


    These two groups will also receive specially designed presentations, the students focusing on prevention of accidental starts, and landscaping professionals focusing on defensible space design and plant species selection. We plan to collaborate with other groups that are working to create curriculum for landscape professionals.


    This was highly successful event in the past, and we intend to repeat the event and ensure great turnout through local media promotion and by promoting it in all of our direct communications with community members through our presentations and canvassing. It is a great opportunity to provide and reinforce our wildfire prevention and safety messages and encourage action to a large number of people simultaneously.


    We will leverage our award?winning online wildfire safety education system (Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition) by promoting its use in the brochure, while canvassing, and at all presentations. We have separate education tracks for homeowners, farmers & ranchers and students, we will improve it by adding a track for landscape professionals.


    We will also add a utility that will allow anyone to create a "Family Safety Plan". A simple but dynamic series of forms will request information required to create a plan, and then produce and eMail a complete, printable plan to the user. The plan can be saved online, updated as necessary, and then resent to the user. This will allow us yet another opportunity to educate and encourage people to take wildfire prevention and safety actions.

Fire Safety Education and Biomass Reutilization Project

Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council
    • Sacramento Regional Foundation
    • Further development of website, improvement of education program and ongoing mulching program.

Interactive Fire Safety & Biomass Reutilization Project

Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council
    • Sacramento Regional Foundation
    • Development of our first website with education component and mulch scheduling system

Reusable Biomass Education & Distribution Program

Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council
    • Sacramento Regional Foundation
    • For expansion of the biomass reutilization program to reach private residents.