MENDOCINO Co, CA, 4/13/23 — The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council is undertaking a strategic planning process to identify the biggest priorities in community fire safety and preparedness this year — and they want your input.
“We want to be sure that we focus our limited resources on delivering the best possible services to help our county survive and thrive in our wildfire-prone environment,” the council wrote in its March newsletter.
The council shared a brief survey aimed at assessing home readiness, neighborhood readiness, and broader community readiness for wildfire across Mendocino County. The survey also assesses use of the council’s existing programs, asks what would be most helpful in your neighborhood, and takes temperatures on familiarity with prescribed burning and capacity to create defensible space around your home.
To help shape the council’s priorities over the coming five years, take the survey here.
Further, applications are now open for microgrants, which will let neighborhood fire safe councils and fire districts take on individual projects. Funding for these grants, which range from $2,000 to $8,000, has doubled after a donation from PG&E — the council has $100,000 overall to distribute. These applications close April 30.
In 2022, the council distributed $50,000 worth of these microgrants to ten different community projects. These ranged from a South Coast Fire Protection District map to aid emergency responders, to strategically placed water tanks in the Bell Springs area, to evacuation route signs near the Black Bart Trail area in Redwood Valley. Check out a comprehensive map of these projects here.
Executive Director Scott Cratty often emphasizes the importance of just getting started toward fire safety, even if it’s as minimal as clearing some debris around your home from the recent storms.
“Mainly, do something, take some little step every week to get yourself and your home ready,” he advised in a phone conversation with The Mendocino Voice in June. “When you begin to feel your home and family are becoming prepared, move on to help your community by joining or starting a neighborhood group.”
Note: Kate Fishman covers the environment & natural resources for The Mendocino Voice in partnership with a Report For America. Her position is funded by the Community Foundation of Mendocino, Report for America, & our readers. You can support Fishman’s work with a tax-deductible donation here or by emailing [email protected]. Contact her at KFishman@mendovoice.com or at (707) 234-7735. The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.