Wildfire/Housing Working Group

In the fall of 2021, ABAG convened a Wildfire/Housing Working Group to provide current research and best practices on wildfire and housing issues in local land use planning. The format of the Working Group was four virtual sessions (linked below) with national and state level experts. The hope is that these resources will aid local planning and housing staff in integrating wildfire awareness into their Housing and Safety Element updates. All of the sessions can be accessed at the Peer Cohorts and Work Groups page, or through the links below. 


1. Wildfires and Housing 101, provides an overview of the evolution of wildfires and explains the need for new tools, systems and approaches. Included is an explanation of the science of why homes ignite, foundational information on defensible space and vegetation management, and a showcase of the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority.

2. Defensible Space & Home Hardening is a deep dive into the latest research and techniques of how to protect homes.  CAL FIRE provides updates on state priorities and initiatives that effect local agencies.

  • Video of the 2 hour webinar
  • Slides used in the webinar
  • Resource Guide on defensible space and home hardening. A four-page library of multi-media educational resident guides and educational materials
  • Fire Safe Marin Resource Guide. A four-page overview of Fire Safe Marin’s collaborative wildfire public education programs

3. Evacuations provide an overview of new evacuations laws, practical approaches to evacuation, and technology used in evacuations. The session also explores ways modeling tools can be used to better plan for evacuations. 

  • Video of the 2 hour webinar
  • Slides used in the webinar
  • Evacuation Laws - Key Considerations and Planning Resources is an eight-page guide outlining recent legislation and considerations for how cities and counties might scope evacuation planning to meet the new requirements.  The Guide also contains links to recent RFPs for evacuation planning analysis and links to grants and consultants pre-screened on ABAG’s Regional Planning Consulting Bench.

4. Land Use Planning in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) focuses on adaptions for high density communities. The webinar examines three broad subjects: how homes with minimal setbacks can be made more fire resistant; how cities can ease congestion and allow emergency vehicle access during an evacuation; and how communities can take action together on wildfires. 

  • Video of the 2 hour webinar
  • Slides used in the webinar

Additional Resources