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Thousand Oaks

Local Neighborhood Gains ‘Firewise’ Recognition

The Los Robles Estates Homeowners Association (HOA) recently became the second neighborhood in Thousand Oaks to be nationally recognized as a Firewise USA community through the National Fire Protection Association, which acknowledges neighborhoods with established plans and actions for lowering wildfire risk in their areas, according to the organization.

“Our community experienced significant wildfires five years ago, and we saw firsthand the devastating impact they can have,” Mayor Kevin McNamee told the Guardian. “We know that the threat of wildfire is always present. While we cannot prevent wildfires, we can take steps to harden our homes and protect our loved ones. … I commend the Los Robles Estates Homeowners Association for their proactive efforts in enhancing their neighborhood’s safety. These efforts improve our odds of remaining secure during wildfire incidents.”

Mayra De Leon with the Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council (VRFSC) says that any neighborhood, including ones without an HOA, may take steps to earn the Firewise USA designation.

“I urge all residents to take the time to learn about home fire safety and make sure their homes are prepared.”

Mayor Kevin McNamee

“Any resident can apply, even without the help of the VRFSC,” De Leon told the Guardian. “VRFSC is simply helping to facilitate the creation of these programs throughout the county and giving this program some legitimacy with the public.”

Those looking to receive Firewise USA recognition for their neighborhood may form a team of half a dozen or so residents, obtain a risk assessment through an entity such as the Ventura County Fire Department, and then create a 3-year action plan to make the community safer from wildfires. Groups are also invited to contact VRFSC, which gives presentations to groups large or small about the Firewise USA program. More details are available at Venturafiresafe.org/firewise. The VRFSC is a nonprofit group whose aim is to reduce the threat of wildfire to farms, ranches, urban neighborhoods and infrastructures through an aggressive program of action, education and collaboration, according to the organization.

Los Robles Estates is Ventura County’s third neighborhood to receive the recognition. They hosted a community meeting and committed together to maintain defensible spaces around homes and structures and invest 107 volunteer hours per year for wildfire risk reduction efforts.

“I urge all residents to take the time to learn about home fire safety and make sure their homes are prepared,” McNamee told the Guardian.

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