SCFSC Programs

The SCFSC programs evolved over the early years to include three primary programs focused on our 14 Communities at Risk from wildfires:

  1. Community Outreach and Education Programs:
    FireSafe Council staff and volunteers distribute literature and other materials at community events and meetings to educate residents to create Defensible Space around their homes and communities and to protect the environment. Community engagement is an essential part of these programs, which include Youth Education Programs for families and children and Smokey Bear Story Times at schools and libraries for younger children.

  2. Hazardous Fuel Assessment and Strategy Projects:
    Our member organizations and other stakeholders identify fire prone areas in Santa Clara County, propose appropriate treatments to reduce the risk of wildfires and develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans. These plans identify fire prone areas in Santa Clara County and appropriate treatments to reduce the risk of wildfires and help protect wildlife and endangered plants and animals.

  3. Hazardous Fuel Reduction Programs:
    These are typically clearing and chipping projects, which are based on Community Wildfire Protection Plans and designed to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations. Our Hazardous Fuel Reduction Programs include:
    • Defensible Space Chipping Programs: Residents cut limbs and brush and stack the material for chipping. We use qualified contractors to provide free chipping services to chip the material the residents have prepared. This free service motivates residents to do most of the work to help protect their homes, communities and the environment.

    • Special Needs Assistance Programs: We provide free clearing as well as chipping for qualified seniors, disabled and low income applicants who cannot prepare for chipping themselves or pay someone else to do it.

    • Fuel Breaks and Evacuation Routes: We build and maintain Fuel Breaks to help prevent wildfires from spreading and to provide safe areas for firefighters to try to stop a wildfire. Evacuation Routes provide pre-planned routes for residents to evacuate when needed and access routes for fire and emergency vehicles. Our Fuel Breaks and Evacuation Route projects are usually cooperative projects with our partners including CAL FIRE, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose Water Company, Midpeninsula Open Space District, Caltrans and Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Departments who donate In-Kind Services for these projects.

    • Other projects: We have completed two federal grants to remove dead and dying trees affected by Sudden Oak Death disease which were a fire or access hazard. Project like this help protect and restore the environment. We also participate in stream and creek cleanup days and similar projects where our mission overlaps with other organizations.

Environmental considerations are important for all our projects. The US Bureau of Land Management reviews our federal grants to ensure compliance with federal environmental laws, including Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and National Historic Preservation Act. Because wildfires can adversely affect plant and animal life and habitat, pollute air and drinking water, and aggravate erosion into creeks, streams and reservoirs, protecting the environment is an essential part of protecting homes and communities.

Next: SCFSC Hazardous Fuel Reduction Program Accomplishments  |  SCFSC History Table of Contents


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


Highland Associates
Allan and Judy Thompson

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