Wildfire Preparedness Workshops

A series of workshops will be held throughout the county this spring to inspire wildfire preparedness action! Learn how to work with your community to prepare for, prevent, and mitigate the effects of wildfire and other emergencies. Expand the tabs below to learn about each unique event. 

If you have questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact County Coordinator, Tanner Speas.

Additional info will be posted as each event approaches. Check back for updates!

Firetruck education
  1. Garberville

Garberville Fire Community Celebration
 Saturday, April 15th from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
 Redwood Playhouse, 286 Sprowl Creek Road
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The workshop will be hosted by the Southern Humboldt Fire Safe Council, in partnership with the County of Humboldt, Garberville Firewise, UCCE, CAL FIRE, and other local collaborators. This workshop and resource fair will provide wide ranging expertise presented to the public on wildfire prevention, preparedness, and evacuation-related topics. This event is designed to help residents understand how to prepare their homes and properties for wildfire; plan and prepare to evacuate; and what to expect from the County Office of Emergency Services and CAL FIRE during a wildfire emergency. This is an opportunity to increase the engagement of community members in, and support for, local organizations involved in wildfire preparedness!

Speaker schedule:

  • Manny Mello, certified Insurance Counselor on fire insurance at 3:00 pm
  • Yana Valachovic, UCCE Forest Advisor on home hardening at 3:30 pm
  • Ryan Derby, County Office of Emergency Services Manager on evacuation at 4:30 pm

Read the press release for the full details of the event:

Celebrating a string of recent successes, local fire readiness groups are hosting a family-friendly community event on Saturday, April 15th from 2pm-6pm at the Redwood Playhouse in Garberville. This free event will include food, live music, raffle prizes, kids’ activities and fire truck tours, and a chance to learn the latest in fire preparedness. There will be information on free chipper days, defensible space assistance for eligible residents, and upcoming training and career opportunities in fuels reduction and fire resilience.

What To Expect

Firewise groups, Fire District residents, and others eager to get involved will all have the chance to learn and share during the April 15th celebration. Starting at 2:00pm, representatives from the Southern Humboldt Fire Safe council, Garberville Firewise and other local groups will introduce themselves and be available for more information on how to get involved. Jake Taulbee from the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District will share the exciting work in forest health and fire resilience that they have been involved in around Garberville and  surrounding areas. Manny Mello, a certified Insurance Counselor and Humboldt County Fire Safe Council member, will give a presentation at 3:00pm and answer questions on the current state of home fire insurance. As the central speaker, home Hardening expert Yana Valachovic will speak at 3:00pm, tailoring her talk for homes in Garberville and Redway. Born and raised in southern Humboldt, Valachovic is a renowned speaker, Forest Advisor for the UC Cooperative Extension in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, and a member of the Humboldt County Fire Safe Council.

Ryan Derby, Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services Manager, will present on emergency preparedness including what you can expect in the event of an evacuation. After the presentations, there will be a resource fair with local fire readiness groups hosting information tables where attendees can learn how to plan for emergencies, harden their homes against wildfire, and engage with community efforts to be more prepared.  A raffle drawing at the event will feature a grand prize of a 2-person crew with a chipper and saws for a half day of fuels reduction services from Lost Coast Tree and Habitat, donated by Jonathan Lehman. Other raffle prizes include nearly 20 gift certificates for local restaurants and businesses, donated by Vocality Community Credit Union. Trees Foundation will draw the winner of their king-size quilt raffle.

What We Are Celebrating

We’ll be celebrating the passage of two special ballot measures this March that cleared the way to expand the Garberville Fire Protection District, and form the Salmon Creek Fire Protection District. This will help sustain Volunteer Fire Departments in these areas as they adapt to rising costs.

“I'm just so relieved that it passed,” Garberville Fire Chief Tim Tietz remarked about Measure U. “It's been seven years of meetings and an unbelievable amount of work by a lot of people.” The Garberville Fire Protection District will now receive annual tax revenue from areas that it has historically responded to..

We will also celebrate the over $8.5 million dollars in USDA Community Wildfire Defense Grant funding recently awarded for three southern Humboldt projects proposed by Shelter Cove Resort Improvement District, Briceland Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD), and Mattole Restoration Council. These projects will help increase wildfire preparedness, support local workforce capacity building, and advance prescribed burn project development and implementation.

“Thanks to a generous grant from the USDA, we will be constructing around six miles of shaded fuel break along critical access roads,” wrote BVFD spokesperson Camilo Stevenson. “This grant will have a direct impact on our local economy by providing employment opportunities for our firefighters, some of whom have been struggling due to increased cost of living and the scarcity of quality employment in Southern Humboldt.”

Other positive developments include the national recognition of Benbow, Salmon Creek, and Garberville as official Firewise Communities. Local volunteers worked together to meet the National Fire Protection Association’s requirements, such as collaborating with local fire agencies to create a wildfire risk assessment, and developing a 3-year action plan to address those wildfire risks.

“We want to congratulate these local volunteer groups for their achievement of Firewise USA recognition,” said Gail Eastwood, Chair of the Southern Humboldt Fire Safe Council. “We hope that other neighborhoods will be inspired to look at what their vulnerabilities are, and make action plans.”

The Hosts

This event is a collaboration between Southern Humboldt Fire Safe Council, the County of Humboldt, Garberville Firewise, University of California Cooperative Extension, CAL FIRE, and other local collaborators. Partial funding for this event is provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Fire Prevention Program as part of the California Climate Investments Program.  California Climate Investments is a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.

Volunteers are still needed. For more information or to volunteer for the event, please contact rspeas@co.humboldt.ca.us. You can visit www.humboldtgov.org/FireEdu for information about this and other Fire Preparedness Events happening in Humboldt County this spring.

  1. Shelter Cove
  1. Willow Creek
  1. Lower Mattole