Fire Adapted Landscapes & Safe Homes (FLASH)

Introduction

The Fire-adapted Landscapes & Safe Homes Program, better known as "FLASH", is a cost share program designed to assist property owners with reducing their risk to wildfire by thinning flammable vegetation around their homes and along key access routes. This grant-funded program has been active intermittently since 2010 and has helped reduce hazardous vegetation on hundreds of acres across Humboldt County. The current program aims to treat at least 330 acres across Humboldt County by early 2024.

The program focuses on high wildfire hazard areas in Humboldt and will reimburse property owners on a per acre basis. While the program will be open to all Humboldt County residents, priority will be given to participants who meet the criteria of senior (65+), alter-abled, and/or low income. It will also be a priority of the FLASH program to increase the effectiveness of vegetation treatments by incentivizing participation from adjacent properties, particularly in high risk areas, so as to create a landscape (rather than islands) of defensible space within target neighborhoods.

Program Timeline

Updated 02/19/21: If you submitted an interest form prior to 2/19/2021 you will be notified if your project has been selected in the coming weeks. The County and HCFSC are currently working to train FLASH Technicians who will be responsible for implementing the program. This will be followed by a participant prioritization process and site visit scheduling. Significant updates to the timeline will be posted to this webpage and emailed to those who have submitted an interest form.

Before & After Photos

How do I apply?

The amount of interest received to date will likely exhaust existing grant funds for this round of the FLASH Program. 

You may submit an interest form if you would like to be added to the waiting list and notified if an opening becomes available. The waiting list will be maintained until early 2024 when the Program ends.

Please know that we will continue to seek additional funds to support this program and our ability to serve the needs of all interested landowners.

Submit Interest Form

Program Steps

  1. HCFSC / County: Solicit interest forms from potential program participants.
  2. County: Prioritize interested landowners and confirm willingness to participate.
  3. FLASH Technician: Conduct initial site visit and Home Risk Assessment, as applicable.
  4. FLASH Technician: Identify fuels reduction project boundaries, acreage, environmental impact information, and treatment prescriptions.
  5. FLASH Technician: Develop reimbursement estimate and map. Take “Before” photos.
  6. Landowner: Sign Participation Agreement, Reimbursement Agreement, and other forms.
  7. Landowner: Initiate fuels reduction work (only after all paperwork is completed).
  8. FLASH Technician: Conduct completion visit (and any necessary follow up visits) and approve project completion forms. Take “After” photos.
  9. County or FLASH Technician: Reimburse landowner per Reimbursement Agreement.


Image at right: Focus on preparing areas closest to the home (Zone 0) and work outwards to the property line (Zone 1 and 2). Clearing access routes is also critical. Image by K. Weber.

Program Resources

Program Participants work with a qualified technician to complete a Home Risk Assessment. Even those not enrolled in the program can use this resource to guide their own wildfire preparedness. Also see Preparing Your Home for Wildfire—a quick reference for concepts of the assessment, designed with Humboldt County homes in mind.

defensible space zones

Program Requirements

An abbreviated list of the Program Requirements is provided below. For the full details of the program, including eligible practices and reimbursement rates, download the Program Requirements. Also see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

  • Meet the minimum 0.5 acre project area requirement (some exceptions may be made, particularly for groups of adjacent properties) and be located within the State Responsibility Area (funding is not available for properties within city limits at this time).
  • Participate in an initial site visit and Home Risk Assessment, as applicable (before any work is completed) and follow-up visit(s) from Program staff to assess progress and to determine funds to be paid out.
  • Agree to cost-share rates and practices determined by the FLASH Technician based on fuel loading, slope, ecosystem type, and accessibility.
  • Complete and submit all required forms and receipts.
  • Meet the fire risk reduction standards of the program by adhering to the vegetation management prescription recommendations of the FLASH Technician.
  • Comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.
  • Dispose of fuels created during operations by chipping, hand-pile burning, or in limited circumstances, by lop-and-scatter.
  • Complete all project work, including full slash disposal, in a timely manner. All work must be completed before reimbursement can be received.

Program Funding

Funding for this project is provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) as part of the California Climate Investments Program. Coordination and support provided by the Humboldt County Fire Safe Council, the County of Humboldt, CAL FIRE, and UC Cooperative Extension.

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