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Cooperative Extension Shasta County
1851 Hartnell Avenue
Redding, CA 96002-2217
Phone: (530) 224-4900
Fax: (530) 224-4904

Larry Forero

Fire Recovery Resources

Reducing Risks from Wildfire Workshop - Presentations

Presentation Presenter Agency
Insurance Considerations Kari Haley-Hathaway Haley Insurance Marketing, Inc.
Landscaping Considerations Leimone Waite Shasta College & UC Master Gardeners
Home Survival Rick Satomi Forestry Advisor, UCCE Cooperative Extension
Creating Defensible Space Nick Wallingford Fire Captain, Pre-fire Engineer, Cal Fire Shasta-Trinity Unit
Costs to Remove Vegetation Kelli England Western Shasta Resource Conservation District


   Wildfires are challenging times. As first responders achieve containment of the active fire front, landscape and building recovery efforts are critical next steps. Shasta County has compiled a comprehensive resource to help residents and landowners through your fire recovery needs.

   In addition to recouping losses and establishing personal safety, the coming months are critical protecting your landscape from secondary damage. Tree damage assessment, ground stabilization, and home landscaping design are critical factors to consider before the rainy season. Refer to the resources provided above, or contact your local UCCE office for guidance on which steps to consider in maintaining our natural landscapes.

   During active wildfire times, please work with your local fire agency and follow all evacuation orders to help fire crews protect our community. Do not rely solely on emergency services, as damaged infrastructure can stop alert messages from getting to you.

   There are several sources of information, so please ensure that you are using verified sources:

  • Mobile App Alerts: Install RedAlert, CodeRED, and NIXLE on your mobile device to have emergency evacuation notices sent directly to your phone.
  • Social Media: CalFire SHU is providing real-time updates on the fire throughout the day

Given the unpredictability of this fire, all residents should prepare for evacuation. Use the checklist below to prioritize your evacuation based on time available. Some insurance providers include evacuation coverage as part of their policy. Save receipts for motels and other expenses to help with your recovery.


Because the time available to you may change in a moments notice, start with the first priority. Secure People, Pets, then Structure.
Refer to local emergency plans for additional information
Time Available Priority Task
0 - 60 Minutes 1 Evacuate Immediately. Early evacuation is the safest for you and your family. Late evacuation causes the greatest loss of life.
1 Hours - 1.5 Hours
2 Load your medications, important documents, supplies and pets into vehicle.
3 Park vehicle in driveway facing out with keys in ignition for a quick exit. Disconnect automatic garage door opener for quick access by emergency personnel.
1.5 Hours - 4 Hours
4 Close windows, vents, doors, venetian blinds or non-combustible window coverings. Remove drapes and other combustible window coverings.
5 Shut off gas at the meter. Turn off propane tanks including BBQ and other portable tanks. Affix wrench to propane tank for quick access to gas shut off.
6 Close fireplace screens and/or doors.
7 Move flammable furniture, doormats, brooms and other flammable items into the center of the home away from windows and glass doors.
8 Turn on a light in each room to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.
9 Erect ladders against house and place fire-fighting tools (rake, shovel, chainsaw) in front of house.
10 Place combustible patio furniture inside or at least 30 feet away from structure.
11 Connect garden hoses to outside taps and sprinklers.
4 Hours - 6 Hours
12 If available, set up portable gasoline powered pump.
13 Record your belongings to help with the insurance and recovery process. Take photos of every room, closet, and storage area.
14 If combustible materials are present, place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks. Wet down these areas but Do Not leave sprinklers unattended; turn off when you leave your home.
15 Rake a line of bare soil around any structures and wooden fences. Wet or remove shrubs within 30 feet of home. 
16 Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or heavy aluminum foil.
17 Plug the rain gutter downspouts (e.g., with ziplock bag 1/2 full of sand or dirt) and fill the gutters with water.
18 Protect water sources - wet down pump house, clear flammable vegetation way from supply infrastructure. Fill garbage cans and buckets with water and place in front of house.
19 Implement evacuation of livestock.

* Guide adapted from Nevada County, (2019) Fire Season Guide


Securing yourself and your family

  • Follow these guidelines from the U.S. Fire Administration / Federal Emergency Management Agency on what to do during the first 24 hours after a fire:
    • Contact your local relief service such as the American Red Cross (search by zip code to find your local chapter here) or the Salvation Army (search by zip code to find your local chapter here) to help with housing, food, and other essentials.
    • Contact your insurance company/agent for details on how to proceed. If you are not insured, try contacting private aid organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, religious organizations, and civic organizations.

Re-entering the home/site

  • Check with the fire department to ensure that it is safe to re-enter and ask about the status of your utilities (if they are down, do NOT attempt to reconnect yourself). Fire status and current evacuation orders in place can be found by going to the National Interagency Fire Center Fire Information page.
  • Conduct an inventory - do not throw anything away until after the inventory is made. A guide to valuing your property and a guide to salvaging specifc items can be found here.
  • Locate valuable documents and records if you were unable to gather them before leaving. A guide to replacing lost documents can be found here.
  • Save all receipts for any money spent related to fire losses - they may be needed by your insurance company.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
  • Check with the IRS about tax-related benefits for fire recovery.

Revegetating the site

Information sourced from UCCE Sierra: Living With Wildfire

Fire Safe Home

UC Homeowner Wildfire Assessment

Home Survival in Wildfire-Prone Areas: Building Materials and Design

Fire Resistant Home Construction

Builders Wildfire Mitigation Guide

Defensible Space

Creating defensible space is essential to improve your home's chance of surviving a wildfire.  It's the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs or any wildland area that surround it.  This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it protects your home from catching fire - either from direct flame contact or radiant heat.  Defensible space is also important for the protection of the firefighters defending your home.

Building Defensible Space

Combustability of Mulch

Living With Wildfire