Hydesville is a Firewise Community

As a result of its dedicated efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire, The Hydesville neighborhood has been given Firewise Communities/USA® recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program. Hydesville has become one of the many other communities nationwide that have been recognized since the program’s inception in 2002. The national Firewise Communities program provides free information resources and direction for residents, communities, businesses, and fire and forestry organizations.

National Firewise Communities Program

Where You Live. How You Live.


Over the past century, America’s population has nearly tripled, with much of the growth flowing into traditionally natural areas. This trend has created an extremely complex landscape that has come to be known as the wildland/urban interface. Encroaching development into forests, grasslands, and farms has put lives, property, and natural resources at risk from wildfire.

Unfortunately, once a wildfire ignites, firefighters are limited in what they can do to protect the values in its path. The National Firewise Communities Program is a national program that encourages partnerships among communities, homeowners, private industry, tribes, and public agencies and officials to develop and implement local solutions for wildfire preparedness – before a fire starts.

Wildfires are a natural process. It is the vision of Firewise Communities that, with adequate planning and cooperation among varying interests, wildfires can occur without disastrous loss of life, property, and resources. To that end, the National Firewise Communities Program provides a number of wildland/urban interface resources for firefighter safety, community planning, landscaping, construction, and maintenance to help protect people, property, and natural resources from wildland fire.

Firewise Approach
The best approach to wildfire preparedness involves utilizing the wide range of Firewise practices. The National Firewise Communities Program offers a series of practical steps (landscaping, home construction and design, community planning, etc.) that individuals and communities can take to reduce their vulnerability to wildfire. Using at least one element recommended by the National Firewise Communities Program and adding other elements over time will begin to protect against the risk of fire in the wildland/urban interface.

Examples of Firewise techniques for property owners include creating a defensible space around residential structures by thinning trees and brush; choosing fire-resistant plants; selecting ignition-resistant building materials; positioning structures away from slopes; and working with firefighters to develop emergency plans.

Congratulations on receiving Firewise Communities/USA recognition status! It is with great pleasure that we welcome the Hydesville community to the growing assembly of communities working to become safer from wildfire fire risks.
Lucian Deaton, Firewise Communities/USA Program Manager

About Hydesville

Hydesville residents worked with Hydesville Firewise Committee, CAL FIRE, and Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department to conduct a wildfire hazard assessment, identifying risks and hazards that generate fire danger, such as overgrown vegetation along roadsides or power lines. Based on this assessment, the group developed an action plan to address those safety concerns. Residents then worked together to implement that plan, taking specific actions to reduce their vulnerability and enhance fire safety. By preparing homes, structures, and landscapes before a wildfire happens, the Hydesville community has dramatically increased its chances that lives, homes, and properties will be protected when a wildfire does occur.

An initial action plan for the Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program was created and agreed to by the Hydesville Firewise Committee in April of 2015. With the help of SRA/VMP Forester with CAL FIRE providing guidance for the development of the assessment, Hydesville Community Firewise Committee reviewed and updated the action plan.

The action plan was set in motion when residents of Hydesville congregated Saturday, May 9, 2015 in at the Hydesville Fire Station to address the wildfire dangers in and around the residential properties.

At the end of May and beginning of June, CAL FIRE, High Rock Conservation Crew, Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, and Hydesville community members, trimmed and chipped tree limbs and brush along Quail Lane.

The Hydesville Firewise Committee will continue to reduce hazardous fuels as well as enhance fire protection water supplies throughout the community.


The Firewise Communities program provides a number of wildland/urban interface resources for firefighter safety, community planning, landscaping, construction, and maintenance.

The Firewise Web site provides educational information about wildland/urban interface fire to homeowners and agency fire staff. The interactive site features a wealth of information on how to mitigate wildfire risks at the homeowner and community levels. Web site visitors can view streaming video; download documents; browse an extensive list of helpful links; and use a searchable library of national, state, and local documents on a wide range of wildfire safety issues.

  • Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program

To facilitate local solutions to wildfire preparedness goals, the Firewise Communities/USA program recognizes communities for working together to protect residents and property from fire in the wildland/urban interface. To be recognized as a Firewise Communities/USA site, local communities must create and implement a local plan with cooperative assistance from state forestry agencies and local fire staff. In addition, communities are required to continue regular maintenance and education to retain recognition status.

  • Firewise Communities Workshops

The National Firewise Communities Program supports regional and local organizations interested in hosting Firewise workshops using materials supplied by the national program. Firewise Communities workshops prepare community leaders and fire service professionals to recognize wildland/urban interface fire hazards, make homes and landscapes Firewise, deliver fire education to residents, and incorporate Firewise planning into existing and developing areas of communities. These dynamic workshops can feature interactive discussions, mapping, and wildfire simulations. Firewise workshops are most successful when they are attended by a variety of community representatives, such as planners, business leaders, homeowner association members and emergency service professionals.

  • Firewise Information Resources

The National Firewise Communities Program is continuously developing informational materials to help community organizations understand and address wildland/urban interface issues. The Web-based Firewise Communities materials catalog provides more than 30 audiovisual and print materials for agencies, firefighters, homeowners, such as instructional videos, home construction checklists, mini-documentaries, CD-ROMs, school education projects, and more.

  • Firewise Training and Education Resources

Firewise offers a two-day on-site Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone workshop to individual groups wanting to learn more about wildfire risk assessment for homes and communities in fire prone areas. The Firewise Learning Center at www.firewise.org provides a virtual classroom for courses on a number of topics.

Additional Information

For more information click on the links below or visit the Firewise website.