SAF_Jerry_Smokey.jpg

SCFSC Mission and Vision

SCFSC has a mission: “Mobilizing the people of Santa Clara County to protect their homes, communities and environment from wildfires.”  And the SCFSC brochure, created long ago, says, “The Santa Clara County FireSafe Council is a non-profit organization composed of individuals, public and private agencies and companies that share a common, vested interest in preventing and reducing losses from wildfires.”

Our objective is not preventing wildfires. It is protecting their homes, communities and environment from the potential effects of wildfires. Protecting people (lives) isn’t mentioned explicitly but is certainly included in protecting communities. And that includes both residents and firefighters (e.g., access and evacuation routes).

Our objective is not doing everything ourselves. It is “mobilizing people” which includes residents, communities, public agencies and other organizations.

SCFSC has never established a set of values or goals in the traditional sense – just (sometimes) annual objectives during the budget process.

In many ways, SCFSC has been opportunity-driven as Federal Grants waxed and waned over the years and as the Federal Grant emphasis shifted from Community Outreach and Education to Community Wildfire Protection Plans to Hazardous Fuel Reduction. And we have seized opportunities for Sudden Oak Death Tree Removals, Fuel Reduction Projects and agreements with Cities and Fire Districts.

All of these activities over the years have been (more or less) closely related to the SCFSC mission. But we have consciously adapted our programs to the diversity of our communities. Some communities (e.g., Lexington Hills) know they have a wildfire problem and want fuel reduction – other communities need more education to understand the problem and what do to. Some people live in problem areas and know they need to be careful – other people are visitors from big cities and don’t understand the dangers of a wildfire starting on a dry, windy day. And many people commute on highways through wildfire-prone areas (e.g., Hwy 17) which are a significant source of wildfire ignitions. Remember that over 90% of wildfires are caused by humans and this percentage is even higher in Santa Clara County. The only non-human source of wildfires is lightening and lightening is not a major source of wildfires in our county.

Smokey Bear
Smokey Bear

The SCFSC Target Audience is all of these people with an emphasis on the residents of our 14 Communities at Risk from wildfires. All of these people need education to prevent losses from wildfires and the residents of Communities at Risk also need fuel reduction programs to encourage and enable them to create and maintain Defensible Space around their homes and communities.

Fortunately, we have an icon, Smokey Bear, that is recognized by almost everyone and which we can use through our association with the US Forest Service and CAL FIRE. This association provides low-cost materials for our education programs.

Somehow, all of these pieces come together to be the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council – an organization which has evolved and adapted to opportunities and needs and which, no doubt, will continue to evolve and adapt.

Next: ??? |  SCFSC History Table of Contents

Questions?

Is this an official history of the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council?

No, this is how Judy and I remember it plus the contributions of many past and present SCFSC participants.

Can I contribute?

Yes, your comments are welcome and appreciated. Please use the Comment form at the bottom of each history page or use the Contact form.

Are we done yet?

No, there will be many more pages, photos and contributions.  Hopefully, the history of SCFSC will never be finished.

Is there a Table of Contents?

Table of Contents,
SCFSC People

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Highland Associates
Allan and Judy Thompson

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