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How to Protect Our Homes and Communities from Wildfires

ID : 9625   
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This workshop will help residential homeowners, professional landscapers, and contractors learn how to help a house and the surrounding landscaping “save itself” during wildfire season. Learn the steps to “harden” homes, strategically reduce fuel loads, how to develop a wildfire risk assessment of your home or your clients’ homes, and make our communities more fire resilient. This in-depth workshop will offer an introduction to defensible landscaping, strategic house hardening, and other proven wildfire protection techniques. You will benefit from the latest techniques that have been developed after the extreme wildfires in California. 

The workshop will cover:

  • Which homes are saved and which homes are lost in wildfires? What can be done to increase the chances that a home survives a wildfire?
  • Strategies to employ in each of the defensible zones around a home. 
  • Best practices for landscape design and maintenance that emphasizes hardscapes, plant selection, and tree considerations.
  • Home hardening and how to choose building materials that can make houses less ignitable; how building codes now require fire-safe materials for new construction, and how these can be applied to remodels.
  • How homeowners can engage with trained professionals. What questions should homeowners be asking? For professionals, what guidance and services are homeowners looking for?
  • Prescribed burns and the significance of living in a fire adapted community. 
  • What is a FireWise community? And why should I care?

Through real-world examples, and lessons learned through responding to wildfires, fire prevention experts and guest speakers from the building and landscaping trades will provide an orientation that will help homeowners and professionals make decisions about how to apply proven wildfire protection techniques to individual homes. 

At the end of class, students will have developed a prioritized plan on how they can play a role in making their home and their community fire adapted, and how to identify what their next steps can be. There will be ample time at the end of each class meeting for Q & A.

A portion of the proceeds from this class will go to support the Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County. For more information go to

This class will occur live in the Zoom virtual classroom. You will receive a link to join the live session in your registration confirmation email, following registration.

Class Details

2 Sessions
Weekly - Sat


MultipleInstructor :
1.Steven Pratt2.Darlene Beal3.Kendel White4.Ed Hayes
5.LizAnne Jensen6.Marco Mack 



Please read:  This class will occur live in the Zoom virtual classroom. You will receive a link to join the live session in your registration confirmation email, following registration. Your registration confirmation can also be found by logging into your profile and viewing “Current Registrations”.

First time attending a virtual classroom class?
  • No Zoom account necessary! You’ll be receiving a password-encrypted link to enter your class, which will prompt you to download the Zoom software or join directly from your favorite web browser. Just one click, and you’ll be taken straight to your virtual classroom, no extra log-in required.
  • Want some tips and support? Check out the Zoom “Getting Started” page for technical support.
  • Check in early! Your instructor will “open” the classroom 15 minutes prior to the start time of the class. Students are encouraged to join early, so class can begin on time.
  • Join with your name. All students must be admitted by the instructor, who will be comparing against the class roster. Please enter the name you used at registration to join the Zoom meeting; you may use just your first name and last initial, if you would prefer. Note that if you are logged in to the Zoom software on your computer, your name cannot be changed until you are admitted to the classroom - try logging out if you’re having trouble.
  • Turn on your camera! If you have a webcam, we recommend turning it on so that your teacher and fellow students can see you, and you can see them. Nonverbal feedback is so important to human connection, and makes the virtual classroom feel more like the brick and mortar one. The camera button is the the bottom left corner of Zoom.
  • Consider your background. If possible, try to keep a neutral space behind you, like a wall or curtain. If you don’t have one available, try out the Virtual Background option to keep your personal space, personal.
  • Mute and Unmute! We’re all navigating the realities of sheltering in place, and your environment may be noisy. It’s good practice to mute your microphone while you’re not speaking - just don’t forget to unmute when you’d like to speak! You can find the mute/unmute button in the bottom left corner of Zoom.
  • Need to get your teacher’s attention? Use the nonverbal feedback tools to raise your hand! Click on “Participants” on the bottom bar of Zoom to find the “Raise Hand” button.
  • Chat and ask questions. Click on “Chat” on the bottom bar of Zoom to open the chat window. You can type a question into the chat window to get answered later, discuss with your fellow students, or respond to your instructor.
  • Don’t forget to log out! Once class is over, be sure to close out of the meeting platform entirely by clicking the “Leave Meeting” button.
Due to the Stay-at-Home orders, the Extension office is closed until further notice. If you have any questions, please reach out via email to



Schedule Information

Date(s) Class Days Times Location Instructor(s)
11/14/2020 - 11/21/2020 Weekly - Sat 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Off Campus, Extension@Home  Map, Room: Zoom Virtual Classroom Marco Mack  ; LizAnne Jensen  ; Ed Hayes  ; Kendel White  ; Darlene Beal  ; Steven Pratt