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UC Cooperative Extension
Karmjot Randhawa
County Director
(559) 243-6564

UC Cooperative Extension
145 Tozer St. Suite 103
Madera, CA 93638
Office Phone: (559) 675-7879
Fax: (559) 675-0639

Wildfire Preparedness

Preparing for wildfire is an ongoing task. By starting with your home and working out, you can reduce the risk of structure loss during wildfires. Though it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin, there are simple, cost-effective actions you can take to significantly reduce fire risk for your home and community.

To find out more information about wildfire preparedness, please review the resources below and visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/fire/Prepare/

Harden your Home

Home hardening involves addressing potential vulnerabilities to wildfires in order to make your house more fire resistant. Due to differences in type, construction date, and location, it is difficult to generalize higher risks to residential buildings. It is therefore crucial to identify the vulnerabilities of each building component so you can prioritize what needs to be done for your home. The diagram below illustrates which building components are most likely to ignite during a wildfire.

Home Hardening

Learn more about preparing your home for wildfire

Create Defensible Space

Defensible space is a term used to describe the careful selection, location, and maintenance of vegetation and other combustible material on your property. The purpose of defensible space is to:

  1. Minimize the pathways of wildfire to burn directly to the home
  2. Reduce radiant heat exposures to the home and structures
  3. Reduce the potential for embers to ignite vegetation adjacent to the home
  4. Provide a safe place for fire personnel to defend the home and allow for safe routes for evacuation. 


Learn more about defensible space

Reduce Forest Fuels

Reduce forest fuels around your home and property to reduce the risk of ignition and create safer conditions for emergency responders during wildfires.

UC ANR has several resources available on their Forest Stewardship website to assist landowners with forestland management, including videos and publications about multiple topics, including fuels management.  

Work with your local Fire Safe Council or Resource Conservation District to see if you qualify for help managing your forest fuels.

Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council

Coarsegold RCD (Eastern Madera County)

Eastern Madera County Fire Safe Council

The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers and forest landowners to address natural resources concerns, including for fuels mitigation. 

CAL FIRE has a state forestry assistance program that can help landowners with technical, financial, and educational assistance through the California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP), a cost share program to help landowners with forest management planning, reforestation, site preparation, thinning, and wildlife habitat improvement projects. The Vegetation Management Program (VMP) is also available to help landowners manage fuels and improve rangelands through a variety of treatment approaches.

Join or Start a Firewise Community

FireWise Communities work together to plan and take steps to protect their neighborhood from wildfire by hardening their homes and reducing vegetation on their properties.

To learn more about joining or starting a Firewise Community in Madera County, contact Coarsegold RCD by emailing coarsegoldrcd@crcd.org or calling (559) 760-6019

Be Prepared to Evacuate

Know what to do during an evacuation 

Resources are also available from the Central California Animal Disaster Team to help you be prepared to care for your animals during a disaster or emergency:

Disaster Preparedness for Companion Pets

Disaster Preparedness for Livestock

Disaster Preparedness for Equine

Pack a go-bag

Know what to do if you have to shelter-in-place

Sign up for alerts in Madera County through text, call, or email when your home is within an evacuation zone during an emergency. 

Get alerts when a wildfire is near you 

Download the WatchDuty App 

See what wildfires are currently near you by visiting the Active wildfires map

Be Smoke Ready

Sign up for air quality alerts from the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District: https://www.valleyair.org/myraan/ 

Download the California Smoke Spotter App to receive the latest information on prescribed fire, projected smoke impacts, current air quality, and educational material on smoke readiness. https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/news/california-air-resources-board-launches-california-smoke-spotter-app 

Visit the California Air Resources Board Smoke Ready California page to learn more about smoke and public health, the air quality index, what particulate matter is, how to wear a respirator mask correctly, how to protect yourself from smoke, and evacuation smoke safety.