Safer West County
Fire Safe Groups
January, 2023

Contents for this Newsletter

  • Sign Up Today For A Free Structure Risk Assessment!
  • Sonoma County Energy & Resilience Workshop Series
  • Watch Duty Relaying Information Fast!
  • Apple's new iPhone Emergency SOS Saving Lives
  • West Sebastopol Community Council
  • Fire Safe Guerneville News
  • Fire Safe Occidental News
Sign Up Today For A
Free Structure Risk Assessment!

Hello Sonoma County Resident,

We are thrilled to announce that the free Structure Risk Assessment scheduler is now live!

You must be in the project area to sign up for a free assessment. You can check to see if you are in the project area on on our program MapViewer

If you are in the project area, information will pop up on your parcel that includes an invite that goes to the Assessment Scheduler. If your parcel is in the Wildfire Adapted 2 project area, you will be added to a wait list so we can prioritize your signup as soon as we open assessments for that area. 

Once your assessment is completed, you will receive a detailed report of wildfire risk to your home or business and you may become eligible for up to $7,000 in rebates for hardening your structure. 

To help us perform these assessments, we have contracted with Wildfire DefenseWorks and Madronus Wildfire Defense. There are a limited number of Structure Risk Assessments available in each of the project areas—be sure to schedule your Structure Risk Assessment as soon as possible.

For more information about the Sonoma County Wildfire Adapted program, please visit If you have any questions or concerns about your Structure Risk Assessment, contact us at

Thank you,
Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division


Sonoma County
Energy & Resilience Workshop Series

The County of Sonoma, Climate Action and Resiliency Division has announced the latest homeowner workshops in an on-going series for those interested in learning more about the benefits of making improvements that will help make your home more energy efficient and resilient.  Go here to find out more and signup for the workshops.


Watch Duty Relaying Information Fast!

Did you know that Watch Duty reporters monitor first responder radio communications in real-time 24/7? This is how they are able to relay information to you so fast – but if they can’t hear, they can’t help.

After identifying millions of acres of Internet radio dead zones throughout the state Watch Duty knew that in order to serve our communities better they had to take a hard swing at solving this problem.

The Watch Duty volunteer team has gone above and beyond the call of duty again to build radio scanners that are being deployed throughout California to these dead zones to ensure that their reporters can hear into the deepest forests.

Read the full story here

Apple's new iPhone
Emergency SOS Satellite Service
Already Saving Lives

Just released for service in late November, Apple's new Emergency SOS via satellite service has already been successfully used to rescue people in desperate and remote situations. Here is one article of a rescue after a car went off a cliff north of Los Angeles.  

Here is other another article of a rescue using the service in remote Alaskan wilderness by someone that became stranded on their snow mobile.

West Sebastopol Community Council

The nascent West Sebastopol Community Council has projects underway. If you are interested in participating, please contact us: There is a great deal we can do to reduce the risk of and prepare for disasters, keep home insurance at reasonable rates, and enhance our community. (Also, please join Safer West County.) We can only do it TOGETHER!!!

1.   Community grazing will begin with four neighboring properties on Celesta Court. Funding for infrastructure has been obtained from Goldridge RCD, which will include fencing, water troughs, and costs for clearing corridors for fencing. Property owners are expected to contribute about 15%, but details remain to be worked out. A grazing plan is being developed using cattle from the adjacent Harston Ranch.  Additional properties adjacent to the ranch are being recruited to participate in future phases of this work. If you are interested, email us.

2.   Additional community grazing projects using goats and possibly sheep, are being developed in collaboration with Sarah Keiser who is fostering Community Grazing Cooperatives. Sarah is also including this work as a site in her grant submission for CalFire funding. Funding will be obtained to offset hopefully most of the costs of infrastructure. The goal is to install permanent fencing with wide open gates for wildlife passage when grazing is not underway. This will allow the essential annual maintenance at low ongoing costs. We need motivated property owners. Contact us!

3.   Several neighbors along our targeted area along Barnett Valley and Burnside, have been working on reducing fuel in defensible space and beyond and in hardening their homes against wildfire. We are working to expand assistance to those homeowners who need guidance or direct support for this work. This type of work is essential to counter insurance companies moves to cancel insurance or raise rates. Please get involved!

4.   A long-range goal is to restore the watershed and fireshed along Ebabias creek and surrounding areas, which will entail slowing and spreading drainage, addressing erosion, and taking a regenerative approach to vegetation and fuel reduction. This work would allow much more water to be retained during atmospheric river events, enhancing the water table and health of soil and vegetation. 

5.   A long-range goal is developing a virtual elder village that would support seniors to age-in-community in their own homes. This effort will partner with well-established local organizations to access infrastructure and resources and with the national organization fostering such efforts, the Village-to-Village-Network.

6.   We have held free CPR trainings in the past and will repeat this training in the coming months. Training will include use of AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillation devices) and support will be available for neighborhoods interested in installing their own AEDs. That is the best way to ensure that someone can survive a cardiac arrest with their brain intact. Ask Damar Hamlin, who just left the hospital.

Fire Safe Guerneville News

FSG board members have been working with county officials and local nonprofits to get information, NOAA weather radios and a new flood level tracking tool out to the residents of the Lower Russian River.

FireSafe Guerneville is forming a Russian River GMRS radio network.  For more information on this program or how to become involved with FSG please contact us at: or 707-873-4323. 

Fire Safe Occidental News

Condolences to the family in our Joy Rd. Neighborhood who lost a toddler due to a falling tree. And thanks to the community for stepping up with substantial GoFundMe help.

FSO has stepped forward with our shopping, cooking and baking skills to help our firefighters continue their non-stop work during these heavy storms. Our first responders have been pressed to their limits, and having food on hand saves time and gives them the much-needed energy boost to continue the work. They are always grateful for yummy donations and we will soon be providing a larger freezer for them so they will have plenty of space to store more food.

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Safer West County
PO Box 1132
Occidental, CA 95465
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Stay safe and keep in touch. Safer West County is always looking for people who can get involved, or ideas you may have about how we can best serve our community.

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