FireSafe Councils play an integral role in wildfire preparedness nationwide, and Santa Clara County is fortunate to have an active council (sccfiresafe.org). As a non-profit organization, largely supported by community volunteers and grant funding, the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council (SCC FireSafe) works alongside local communities and fire departments to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. County Fire is proud to serve on the Board of Advisors of SCC FireSafe and annually contributes $50,000 to support their defensible space chipping program in the Lexington basin.
Following several years of increasingly more destructive wildfires, County Fire is adapting to the reality that vegetation in our area has become more receptive to burning. Driven by several years of drought and hotter average temperatures, the likelihood of more fires like the 2016 Loma Fire has increased. In response, in 2019 County Fire will focus on ways to improve our response capability, speed the rate of fuel reduction activities, and implement new technology to ensure we can detect fires in remote areas more quickly and notify residents rapidly. We will host eleven community workshops focused on wildfire preparedness to ensure our residents have the tools and information they need to be ready for wildfire.
County Fire has been continually accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence since 2005, and is one of twenty accredited fire departments in the State of California. Accreditation provides a process by which we continually monitor and evaluate our performance for self-improvement. In 2019 we will begin the process of re-accreditation which will involve significant community engagement to ensure we are meeting the changing needs of the growing communities we serve. Community feedback and performance assessment will provide valuable insight as we build the next Business and Strategic Plans to guide organizational decision making.