Fire Prevention Office
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed between 11:30am – 1:00pm
925-258-4525 Ext. 533
Firewise Program and Map
Wildfire Risk Reduction
View the Wildfire Risk Evaluation Map at http://firewise.mofd.org/kamap
In 1994, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) identified areas within the District as being classified as a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (AB 337, Bates Bill). Note: These areas may be excluded from the CDF classification following a finding supported by substantial evidence that the requirements are not necessary for effective fire protection within the area.
The Fire District is hopeful that the use of current technology and modeling, CDF will accept a re-evaluation of the areas in MOFD. If so, the potential exists for the re-classification of the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone area.
With the re-classification, the Fire District can proceed with the necessary ordinance adoption to formalize the designations. This will establish the locations requiring building standards for high- and very high-rated parcels.
Note: The Moraga-Orinda Fire District’s (MOFD) Wildland Fire Risk Assessment provides more details and assesses fire risk at a smaller level (parcel level) than the 1994 CDF Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone mapping. The MOFD mapping project and risk assessment should not be confused with mapping information provided by CDF that identifies fire threat areas or other classifications provided by the State.
The results of the MOFD Wildland Fire Risk Assessment will provide the basis for a Fire District wide Wildland Fire Mitigation Plan that will assist in prioritizing mitigation; that will work cooperatively with the governing agencies of the City of Orinda, Town of Moraga, Contra Costa County; and our citizens.
How was my property rated?
Specific conditions are present that determine how quickly a wildfire travels and at what intensity. These conditions involve fuel, weather and topography. Wildland fire risk modeling involves the use of "best available knowledge and science" but does not give any guarantees. One must remember that a lower risk rating, combined with the best mitigation efforts and continued maintenance, gives a structure a 50% chance of survival. This 50% in many areas is extremely better than the existing situation.
As new technology and information is available, the risk model is updated. This updating could have an effect on the individual parcel’s wildland fire hazard risk rating.
Each parcel rating was developed by evaluating a number of wildland fire risk factors. Collected variables were divided into three subcategories (Fire Suppression, Fire Behavior and Property Owner Intervention). Each item within the subcategory was given a value with each subcategory given a percentage of the overall weight to determine the overall parcel rating, i.e. "score". The subcategories weighted percentages were determined using information gathered from a community and fire professional survey. It is important to note that the purpose of this website is to inform and bring change that will improve the safety of each member of the community. Those items that involve property owner intervention (providing defensible space, a visible address, fire resistive roofing) are given a greater percentage for the overall parcel scoring.
How to Read the Map
Ratings were established using technology, site visits, professional evaluation and Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis. A parcel given a green color on the map represents a lower hazard for wildland fire risk, but is not intended to indicate that your home will be unaffected by a wildland fire. Parcels with lower ratings should continue to reduce their wildland fire risk.
Improving Your Properties Wildland Fire Hazard Rating
Three factors influence the spread of a wildfire. They are topography, weather and fuels. Fuels include vegetation (living and dead) and structures (including roofs, siding, and decks).
Statistics and visits to past wildland fire sites show that modifying fuels have a positive effect on a home’s ability to survive a wildfire! It is impossible to guarantee a home will survive a wildfire but by incorporating fuel mitigation strategies and vegetation management techniques; hardening the structure; and performing annual maintenance, your home’s chance of survival is significantly increased. These preventive measures are important to provided an increased level of protection during the time it takes a wildfire to pass.
The Wildland-Urban Interface is defined as "a line, area or zone where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels". Homes built in the wildland-urban interface are susceptible to wildland fire. Steep terrain, canyons and ravines, along with critical fire weather, increase the wildland fire potential. The Moraga-Orinda Fire District possesses all of these factors.
What can you do to reduce the wildland fire risk?
The following actions, along with regular maintenance, will provide a safer wildland fire environment and you will be Sharing The Responsibility for your wildland fire safety.
- A home’s roof is the most vulnerable part of the structure during a fire. In an effort to reduce fire danger, the City of Orinda has a roofing ordinance that requires a Class A roof in specific areas and a Class B roof in all other areas. The Fire District and the Town of Moraga strongly encourage residents of the Town of Moraga to use fire resistive roofing within Town limits. Currently there is no fire resistive roof requirements within the Town of Moraga. For roofing requirements, contact the Fire District.
- Creating a defensible space around your home will enhance your structure’s ability to survive a wildland fire. A defensible space is an area free of seasonal vegetation growth, fire resistive planting and fire safe plant maintenance. The Fire District requires, through ordinance, a defensible space of 100 feet from the structure but not to exceed beyond the property line. Property owners can obtain the Fire District requirements for vegetation management and defensible space by clicking on the icon "Fire District Vegetation Management Standards/Requirements".
- Provide a spark arrester for chimneys
- Make sure the fire department can see your address (both day and night) from the main street in front of your home.
- If access to your property is over a bridge, make sure that the bridge meets access requirements. This means the bridge must support 40 tons, handling the weight of the fire apparatus.
- Provide protection for balconies and decks. Do not store items under the deck or balcony; remove vegetation from under the structure; construct decks of ignition resistive materials and provide an enclosure around the deck or balcony that resists the intrusion of flame and embers.
- Provide protection from the intrusion of embers and flame into eave and vent openings in the structure. This may include the use of fire resistive screening (screen openings no larger than ¼ inch) over vents and eave openings.
Keep your family fire safe by having an escape plan. Make sure all members of your family and anyone that may be caring for family members know the evacuation routes from your home.