In November 2017 a group of neighbors started working to create the first Firewise group in Santa Cruz.

With the help of Fire Chief Jason Hajduk, one active group formed on the East Side of Santa Cruz, and two new ones are forming on the West Side. We have been meeting with our neighbors regularly to learn about wildfire preparedness and have conducted public meetings, yard cleanup events, and home risk assessments.

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Next Firewise Event:         “Saturday, May 4 is national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. We are planning projects in several Santa Cruz neighborhoods to reduce wildfire risk.  This event is a great way to connect with your neighbors, and protect your homes. We encourage you to think about planning an action you can take together. 2019PrepDayFactSheet describing the event and some Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Project Ideas

For more information, visit

 Community Wildfire Preparedness Day on May 4 on includes yard clean-ups, gutter clearing, creating defensible space around homes, and spreading of wood chips as mulch.
As one of these projects, Firewise Prospect Heights has negotiated with the City to donate “clean” woodchips to our neighborhood. This clean mulch (no poison oak!)  is composed of materials that build soil as they break down fungally, while controlling weeds and retaining moisture.
We are pleased to say that two loads of pine wood chips have been delivered and are ready for distribution now. Many thanks to City Urban Forester Leslie Keedy and to our Firewise driveway hosts for making this possible!
The two locations for pick-up are:
 Allerton at Marnell (above the freeway): contact Liz Milazzo <>
Fairmount at Marnell (below the freeway) : contact Ellen Farmer <>
So bring your pick-ups, shovels, wheelbarrows, buckets, and join in Community Wildfire Preparedness Day!

Monday April 1, 11:00 am-noon: How to protect your home from wildfire: Fire Battalion Chief Robert Young and Urban Forester Lesley Keady conducted a demonstration walkthrough around two Prospect Heights homes to assess fire risk and teach us how to create defensible space around our homes. See Defensible Space for details and advice for everyone.

Here is a link to the FireWise homepage that has detailed information on what areas and actions you should focus on around your home  The immediate zone (0-5′) is the most impactful and one that people should focus on.

Evacuation maps for Santa Cruz

Here is a link to Code RED to register yourself with our 911 center for emergency notifications. Please take the time to register so that timely notifications can be sent to you.

For more information about Firewise Santa Cruz, and how to start a group in your neighborhood, contact

The National Fire Protection Association’s “Firewise USA®” program ( teaches communities how adapt to living with wildfire by encouraging neighbors to work together and take action to protect their homes. It provides information and resources to help neighborhoods understand wildfire risk and engage in risk reduction efforts.