Upper Mark West Fire Safe Council

Living with Fire: FMWW Resources

Be ready for local disasters

Below are five easy steps for emergency preparedness, provided by Listos California.

Download the guide (PDF): English | Spanish

Be Prepared for Fire Season Webinar

with Cyndi Foreman (Division Chief - Fire Marshall Sonoma County Fire District), Jeff Lemelin (Volunteer Battalion Chief -Sonoma County Fire @ Sharp Road Station), Misti Wood, Community Engagement Liaison, Sonoma County Sheriff)

Produced in cooperation between Fire Safe Sonoma and Upper Mark West Fire Safe Council.

Listen to a conversation between our local fire responders and Sheriff's Dept. as they discuss the emerging language and expectations about evacuation protocols for our watershed area.

Learn how your actions can support the efforts of first responders to help protect our lives and property.

Understands the important differences between Evacuation Warnings and Evacuation Orders.

Hear the fire experts describe how you can "take back your power" to get better prepared and learn specific steps to respond to fire emergencies.

This webinar was held on August 13,2020 - just prior to the recent Lightening Complex Fires.

The discussion concludes with a Question and answer session between local residents and the experts.

Evacuation Resources: useful links and downloads in PDF format

Additional resources from Fire Safe Sonoma.

Read the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) here.

Promoting Fire-Resilient
and Landscapes
in an Era of Global Change

In response to public demand for information on fire and building community resilience in the wake of the 2017 Wine Country wildfires, we co-produced a three-day Living with Fire in California’s Coast Ranges Symposium in May 2018.

The symposium included 22 presentations by CAL FIRE officials and national experts on fire ecology, meteorology, fire resilient building techniques, fire safe community strategies, and other topics.

It also featured a day of field trips, including to areas impacted by the Tubbs Fire and Nuns Fire. More than 400 people attended and participated in a public dialogue about the relationship between humans and fire in our region.

These expert presentations, and a selection of live videos produced by KRCB Northern California Public Media, are now available online. A proceedings document with presentation highlights and photos from the symposium and field trips are also now available. Here are some examples:

- Intro to fire ecology by Dr. Scott Stephens of UC Berkeley's Stephens Lab for fire science

- Creating defensible space by Ben Nicholls, CAL FIRE's pre-fire division chief for Sonoma, Lake and Napa counties

- Home design and retrofitting techniques for wildfire defense by Yana Valachovic, of UC Cooperative Extension

- Meteorology and weather associated with extreme wildfire, by Dr. Craig Clements of San Jose State University

Access these presentations and more at https://www.pepperwoodpreserve.org/livingwithfire

We hope you'll find these resources helpful in furthering your understanding of wildfire and what agencies, communities, and citizens can do moving forward to enhance community resilience to fire. There is no single solution to solving this complex challenge—but by creating dialogue we can learn from the 2017 fires and work towards a safer future.

Instructional Videos Specific to
the Mark West Watershed

Four instructional video that everyone in the watershed needs to watch. (And a special "thank you" to Ken Zukin for his videography and editing!)

Video A: A Wildfire History in the Upper Mark West Watershed

Marshal Turbeville gives a fascinating description of wildfire history in our area from a firefighter's perspective.

This talk, given on Nov 8, 2016, is a prophetic and fascinating talk about fire behaviors right here.

This presentation was given right after the Valley fire, and a year before the Tubbs fire of 2017.

Many important fire factors are described in this talk that are important for us to consider as we go forward.

Video B: What is a Fire Adapted Community?

What is our Fire Hazard Rating?

Cal fire’s Vegetation Management Division Chief, Mike Wilson (now retired) for Sonoma/Napa/Lake Counties describes the definition and benefits of becoming a recognized “Fire Adapted Community.

Chief Wilson offers many suggestions and insights about living in a Wildland Urban Intermix with a rating of Very High Fire Hazard Severity.


Description of levels of organization and where a CWPP fits in the mix (min 6:00 – 8:00)

Suggested steps if dropped from Homeowners Insurance due to fire risk (min 23:00)

Fire Severity Mapping for the Upper Mark West: (min 23:35)

Video C: Making your home defendable:

“Start at your House and Work Out!”

Living in the Wildlands has responsibilities!

Cyndi Foreman from Rincon Valley Central Fire District and Caerleon Safford from Fire Safe Sonoma give a detailed presentation about all the things homeowners can do to harden their homes against fire.

They also describe how to create defensible space around your homes.

The good news: the most effective fire protection steps are things you can do around your home!

Video D: Funding Opportunities for Fuels Reduction Work & Shaded Fuel Breaks

This video explores various Funding Opportunities for Fire Prevention and Fuels Reduction Work on private forest lands, including: State Responsibility Areas (SRA grants) for organizations, and CFIP grants and EQIP grants for private landowners.

The end of the video is a field trip to see an example of a Shaded Fuel Break.

We discuss the purpose of shaded fuel breaks as well as what it takes to establish and maintain the work.