Attend a free wildfire preparedness workshop hosted in partnership with the California Department of Insurance

Saturday, May 4 is Wildfire Preparedness Day and Santa Clara County Fire Department invites community members to a wildfire preparedness workshop from 10am to noon in Redwood Estates, Los Gatos.

“We’re pleased to offer community members this wildfire preparedness workshop on such a significant day,” said Santa Clara County Deputy Fire Chief Hector Estrada. “With fire season on the horizon, the time to prepare for wildfire is now and I hope the community will join us to learn how.”

This comprehensive wildfire preparedness workshop will provide an overview of evacuation planning and readiness, steps to make properties more fire resilient, and the County’s emergency notification systems.

The workshop will also cover the pressing issue of home insurance for county residents who reside in the WUI. Attendees will receive guidance on California Assembly Bill 38 and the buying and selling of homes in the WUI. A representative from the California Department of Insurance will also be present to assist homeowners who are struggling with insurance options.

The workshop will consist of three 30-minutes presentations with the following focus areas.

Ready, Set, Go

  • Making your home and property more fire resilient
  • Developing a wildfire action plan
  • How to respond to extreme fire conditions
  • Emergency notification systems

Evacuation Planning and Readiness

  • Know the escape routes from your neighborhood
  • Understanding evacuation terminology
  • Monitor conditions using trusted sources of information

Buying, Selling and Insuring a Home in the WUI

  • Overview of CA Assembly Bill 38
  • Scheduling a property inspection when selling a home in the WUI
  • Accessible home insurance in high-risk areas
  • Policy cost saving incentives
  • Creating a resilient California insurance market

For more information and to register for the wildfire workshop, visit Additional wildfire workshops are planned May 8 in Los Altos Hills and May 14 in Saratoga both from 6-8pm.

SCCFD to begin wildfire mitigation project on Prospect Road

LOS GATOS, Calif. – Santa Clara County Fire Department (SCCFD), in partnership with the City of Saratoga, is providing notice of a wildfire mitigation project scheduled to begin April 10, 2024. The goals of this project are to create vertical and horizontal space between vegetation, remove dead materials, and prune trees overhanging this vital evacuation route. Work performed is intended to reduce risk related to fire and other disasters by providing a safer route for community members and first responders to move into and out of this community.

Work will be performed on Prospect Road between Maria Lane and Fremont Older Open Space Preserve. The Santa Clara County Fire Department Vasona Fire Fuels Crew will be working 9AM-4PM Tuesday-Thursday through April 18th. Drivers are urged to slow down and drive with extra caution in the work area.

Traffic Information

There will be a lane closure on part of Prospect Road (while work is performed) to make space for the crew and equipment. Traffic control will include signage and individuals directing traffic as needed.

This work is part of an effort SCCFD is undertaking to implement projects that promote wildfire safety and resilience for our community members.

On Monday, December 25, 2023, at approximately 4:50 a.m., Santa Clara County Fire Department (County Fire) responded to reports of smoke coming from a commercial structure located at 4600 El Camino Real in Los Altos. Following a 3-alarm fire response, consisting of approximately 60 first responders, the fire was declared under control at 1:53 p.m. The building was declared a complete loss and at risk of collapsing, leading the city of Los Altos Building Division to close a portion of eastbound El Camino Real between San Antonio Road and Sherwood Avenue.

Fire investigators immediately began work to determine the origin and cause of the fire. Although this remains an active investigation, the investigative work onsite concluded on Tuesday, January 30. On this date, County Fire released the site to the building owners, property managers, and the city of Los Altos to conclude the demolition process.

The debris removal began on Thursday, February 1, with shoring to follow, marking the final stages of the demolition process. This phase will continue over the next two weeks and requires the current road closure to remain in place.

Inquiries regarding the fire investigation should be directed to the County Fire Public Information Officer Matt Mokhtarian at

Inquiries regarding the building demolition and road closure should be directed to the city of Los Altos Public Information Officer Sonia Lee at

January 12, 2024

Fire Contact: Erica Ray, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Information Specialist
Phone: 408-341-4444

City Contact: Sonia Lee, City of Los Altos, Public Information Officer
Phone: 650- 947-2611

Update on demolition plans for 4600 El Camino Real

Santa Clara County Fire Department (County Fire) continues to collaborate with the City of Los Altos, California Department of Transportation, and business and property owners of 4600 El Camino Real.

Demolition plans have been postponed until further notice. All parties are committed to providing advanced notice to allow time for media outlets to plan for coverage of the dismantling.

Questions can be referred to the contacts listed above.

January 9, 2024

Fire Contact: Erica Ray, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Information Specialist
Phone: 408-341-4444

City of Los Altos Contact: Sonia Lee, City of Los Altos, Public Information Officer
Phone: 650- 947-2611

Fire investigation update for the Christmas Day Los Altos commercial structure fire

Santa Clara County Fire Department (County Fire) arson investigators immediately began their investigative process following the 3-alarm fire at 4600 El Camino Real in Los Altos on December 25, 2023.

Fire investigators continue to work in collaboration with the City of Los Altos Building Division and several private insurance agencies to complete a thorough fire investigation that meets the needs of all parties. Due to fire damage, the building has been declared unsafe and at risk of collapse. As a result, eastbound El Camino Real between San Antonio Road and Sherwood Avenue has remained closed and fire investigators have not been able to access the interior of the building to safely complete the investigative process.

The City of Los Altos has approved the partial demolition of the front part of the building nearest El Camino Real to proceed. This will allow the fire investigation to continue and provide for the safe reopening of the closed segment of El Camino Real. Demolition is anticipated to begin on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. The demolition process will be completed systematically to preserve the integrity of the site as much as possible as the investigative process continues.

A portion, if not all the closed section of El Camino Real, is anticipated to reopen as early as Thursday, January 11, 2024. As additional newsworthy updates become available, County Fire will continue to share more information.

Questions can be referred to County Fire’s Information and Public Affairs Office at 408-341-4444 or

January 2, 2024


Contact: Erica Ray, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Information Specialist
Phone: 408-341-4444


Fire investigation to determine cause of Christmas Day fire in Los Altos ongoing

On Monday, December 25, 2023, at approximately 4:50 a.m., Santa Clara County Fire Department (County Fire) responded to reports of smoke coming from a commercial structure located at 4600 El Camino Real in Los Altos. A full first structure fire response was immediately dispatched, consisting of three fire engines, one fire truck, one rescue company, one hazardous materials unit, one breathing support unit, two battalion chiefs, and one incident support/safety officer. Included in this initial dispatch was one fire engine from Mountain View Fire Department with the rest of the resources consisting of County Fire personnel.

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the first floor of a two-story, 20,000 square foot commercial building. As the fire progressed, a second alarm was called at 5:10 a.m. consisting of an additional two fire engines, one fire truck, one rescue company, and one battalion chief. Firefighters initially began with an aggressive offensive interior fire attack, entering the building to both fight the fire and confirm there were no individuals inside in need of rescue.

A third alarm was called at 5:22 a.m. with Mountain View Fire Department and Palo Alto Fire Department sending resources to fulfill the balance of the response. Once fire extended to the roof of the structure, firefighters were pulled from the interior of the building due to the risk of the roof collapsing. The firefight continued from the exterior of the building until it was declared under control at 1:53 p.m.

In total, there were approximately 60 first responders on the firegrounds at the height of the incident. Thankfully, there were no injuries to civilians or first responders.

Due to the continued risk of the building collapsing, eastbound El Camino Real between San Antonio Road and Sherwood Avenue will remain closed at the direction of the City of Los Altos Building Division, until the building owner can arrange for it to be demolished.

As of this morning, the fire investigation is ongoing. County Fire is working with the City of Los Altos, building owner, tenants, and insurance companies to ensure a safe and thorough investigation. Our team is working diligently to determine the cause of the fire while prioritizing public safety and the coordination necessary with external partners for the safe and expeditious reopening of eastbound El Camino Real. Updates will continue to be released as they become available.

Questions can be referred to County Fire’s Information and Public Affairs Office at 408-341-4444 or

Learn more about our Firefighter/Engineer Recruitment at this live webinar

Santa Clara County Fire Department is hiring entry-level Firefighter/Engineers! Join us for a live webinar to learn more about our Department, our Firefighter/Engineer hiring process, and minimum qualifications for the position. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions of our current firefighters.


Wednesday, October 11, 2023 – 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Zoom:  (password: SCCFD)
Phone: 669-444-9171  (meeting ID: 899 3470 2645)

We hope to see you there!

Santa Clara County Fire agencies warn residents of the extreme danger of fireworks

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – In time for the Fourth of July holiday, fire agencies from throughout Santa Clara County have partnered to remind residents that fireworks are illegal, dangerous and can result in fires and injuries that are easily preventable. Residents will incur fines for using, possessing, storing, or selling illegal fireworks. Santa Clara County’s ‘social host’ Fireworks Ordinance holds property owners responsible for illegal use of fireworks on their property.

This year, the danger of fireworks-caused fires is extreme. “Vegetation is drought-stressed, dry and primed to burn,” said Santa Clara County Acting Fire Chief Brian Glass. “It is absolutely critical that residents understand the extreme risk of fire at a time of the year when the weather is hot and vegetation is susceptible. We know that one spark can have disastrous consequences.”

A countywide public outreach and education campaign began June 21 to educate residents that when it comes to fireworks, “[It’s] Not Worth It” and can result in dangerous fires and serious injuries. Cities throughout the County will focus efforts on enforcement and residents are encouraged to report illegal fireworks use through the process determined by their home city or town.

“The Bay Area saw a dramatic increase in illegal fireworks activity during this time last year, resulting in over 30 preventable fireworks-related fires in San José alone,” said Robert Sapien Jr., San José Fire Department Fire Chief. “Deciding to use illegal fireworks is also deciding to put your neighbor’s lives and property at risk.  Under current draught conditions, illegal fireworks put the entire community at risk.  We’re asking for assistance keeping our community safe by urging residents to comply with fireworks bans and encouraging community members to report illegal fireworks activity using our online reporting tool to assist the City with taking enforcement actions.”

National Fire Protection Association reports that fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires per year, 59% of which were reported as brush, grass or forest fires. These fires caused an average of five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and an average of $105 million in direct property damage.

This Fourth of July holiday also comes at a unique time when residents are enjoying a return to normal activities and social events. Residents are encouraged to continue to follow current Public Health orders and recommendations, find safe activities and leave fireworks to the professionals by visiting an authorized public display.

If there is an active fire or medical emergency, residents should call 9-1-1.

Now is the time to prepare for wildfire with READY, SET, GO

SANTA CLARA COUNTY– Fire season has arrived in Santa Clara County, a designation that has seemingly come earlier and stays longer with each year in California. With Red Flag Warnings persisting into Tuesday, local fire agencies have begun seasonal increases in staffing and resources for vegetation fires and on days where fire danger is elevated.

Although wildfires have long been a part of the California landscape, severe drought conditions and a changing climate have caused the dry seasons to become much longer and much more severe. Drought-stressed vegetation has had little to no opportunity to recover during the winter months and the risk of wildfires this year is high.

Recognizing the need for extensive and coordinated pre-fire management and preparedness efforts, agencies including Santa Clara County Fire Department, CAL FIRE Santa Clara Unit, San José Fire Department, Palo Alto Fire Department, Milpitas Fire Department, the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council, Santa Clara County Parks, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) have partnered to urge residents to do their part to prepare for wildfire. “Whether it is the safety of our residents, the preservation of our open spaces or protection against unhealthy air quality, our agencies have a common goal to prevent and plan for wildfires – but we can’t do it alone,” said Brian Glass, Acting Fire Chief of Santa Clara County Fire Department. “Every community in California is vulnerable to wildfire. As we bolster our staffing and wildfire capabilities, we urge all citizens to also be ready, be prepared and be engaged,” added CAL FIRE Santa Clara Unit Chief Jake Hess.

Through the READY, SET, GO wildfire preparedness program, residents can, and should, take the steps to prepare their own home and family for wildfire. The READY, SET, GO program is a nationally recognized program that outlines preparedness steps like creating defensible space and hardening your home to create a buffer around your home and eliminate opportunities for embers to enter spaces in and around your home. The program also provides information on preparing emergency supplies, registering to receive emergency alerts and planning for an evacuation.

Fire Chief Robert Sapien, Jr. from the San José Fire Department issued a warning against the use of fireworks as we approach the Fourth of July holiday. “The 2020 wildfire season showed us just how vulnerable many parts of Santa Clara County are to the impacts of wildfire. 2021 has brought extreme drought conditions and we are already seeing high fire activity throughout the County. With significantly dryer conditions than in years past, the threat of wildfires caused by illegal fireworks cannot be overlooked by residents – we need everyone to help keep our homes and community safe from wildfire by committing to stop the use of illegal fireworks.”

Wildfires do not recognize the boundaries of cities, towns, neighborhoods or property lines. With many residents in wildland urban interface areas throughout the County, it’s most beneficial for communities and neighborhoods to work together in their preparedness efforts. Agencies like the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council are available to provide programs and support for groups. “Firewise communities, residential participation in our county wide chipping program and preparedness workshops help residents reduce flammable vegetation and hazards while building neighborhood communication and collaboration for wildfire readiness,” said Eugenia Rendler, Managing Director of the Council.

For more information on the program and services noted above, please visit the following resource pages:

Santa Clara County Fire Department READY, SET, GO:

CAL FIRE Ready for Wildfire:

San Jose Fire Department:

Santa Clara County FireSafe Council:

Bay Area Air Quality Management District Wildfire Program:

Santa Clara Valley Water District: