How to become a Firewise community

Don’t Just Be Fire-Safe; Be “Firewise”

Did you know: The National Fire Protection Association has a program called Firewise USA®, which helps individual communities become recognized Firewise communities. A Firewise community can be certified if a designated leader in that community fills out a risk assessment and action plan and submits the application, regardless of the state of the neighborhood properties and defensible space. No one will be disqualified if they go through the steps of the process. Bille Park in the town of Paradise, for example, was recently certified as a Firewise community thanks to the entire neighborhood adopting appropriate fire safety practices.

We can’t urge you strongly enough to get your local community involved.

“Wait a minute!” you might say. “I’ve already signed up for Be Ready, Butte! emails. Aren’t I already part of a Firewise community?” 

Don’t get us wrong, we’re glad you’re here with us—but there’s an important difference between being fire-safe and Firewise. 

Take being ready to the next level.

Be Ready, Butte! is a resource developed to increase public awareness of and participation in fire-safe practices. But all the fire safety information in the world can’t help if people in our Butte County communities don’t step up to champion the practices we recommend and get their neighbors on board as well. 

Look at it this way: you may have perfectly established defensible space and a well-hardened home, but if yours is the only prepared home in the neighborhood, you won’t be any match for a fire claiming neighboring properties.

If you’re someone who has taken the Be Ready, Butte! cause to heart, please consider becoming a local leader and organizing your neighbors into an officially recognized Firewise community.

It’s not just about bragging rights—being Firewise is an effective fire safety program that can also reduce insurance costs.

People are ready to help you do it.

CAL FIRE / Butte County Fire has made Firewise USA part of its efforts to strengthen the firewall around California communities. Hoping to get residents to come forward as leaders, they’ve provided a step-by-step guide to get started. Here’s some of what’s involved:

1. Organize: Form a board/committee of residents and local fire officials. 

2. Plan: Get an official wildfire risk assessment for your community and make an action plan.

3. Do: Work with neighbors on addressing items in the action plan. 

4. Apply: Submit your community for Firewise recognition on

As a Firewise Community, you’ll have a structured way to make sure your community stays up to date on preparedness. You’ll also become part of a supportive nationwide “community of communities” in which you can share information and best practices such as the guidelines we offer at Be Ready, Butte!

Another great resource is the Butte County Fire Safe Council, who has been helping Butte County residents practice fire safety for more than 25 years. They know all about Firewise certification and can connect you with a wide range of other resources to help protect your home and family. 
If you’re ready to put all you’ve learned from Be Ready, Butte into action and lead the way in protecting your community from the dangers of fire, visit Firewise USATM to learn more about becoming an official Firewise community.