VCFD’s Fire Hazard Reduction Program

CAMARILLO, Calif. – Thousands of letters have been sent to homeowners and property managers reminding Ventura County to clear 100 feet of brush away from properties near open land where wildfires may occur. More than 16,660 parcels will receive Fire Hazard Reduction Program (FHRP) notices advising people to remove dry brush by June 1, 2018.

Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen, said, “The risk of a dangerous wildland fire season is still high despite significant rainfall. Citizens must prepare now and complete their hazard reduction and defensible space requirements. We also encourage people to have an evacuation plan in place should a wildland fire occur in their community.”

FHRP is an award-winning, nationally recognized program that not only protects Ventura County, but also provides a buffer zone for firefighters to operate should a wildfire threaten a home or property.

Ventura County Fire requires homeowners and property managers to clear brush away from nearby buildings and maintain 100 feet of defensible space. Dead trees, poorly
maintained properties and dry brush greatly increases the risk of fast-spreading, dangerous wildfires. FHRP is designed to minimize fire danger by controlling the density and placement of flammable vegetation.

According to the VC Star, inspectors counted 1,343 buildings — most of them homes — damaged in the Thomas Fire, which started near Santa Paula late last year. Close to 80 percent, or 1,063, of the structures were destroyed. Half of those were in the city of Ventura.

Capt. Steve Swindle of the Ventura County Fire Department, said, “It was the size and the breadth of the fire that created the damage that it did.”

Those numbers were reported in a damage assessment completed by authorities during the blaze, which grew to be the largest one officially recorded in state history.

The 96-page report details where structures burned, and, when possible, whether fire-resistant construction materials had been present. In hundreds of cases, they had been.