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Firewise Community Program


Sleepy Hollow was accredited as a Firewise Community for 2016, in recognition of specific activities and projects related to hazardous vegetation removal, community events and training, and long term planning and preparedness goals that will dramatically reduce the risk of wildfire for all residents and visitors to Sleepy Hollow.  Firewise Communities may receive specific benefits, such as discounts on homeowners insurance for residents, and access to grant funding opportunities for future hazard reduction projects.

Since 2002, The Firewise USA Recognition Program of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has empowered neighbors to work together in reducing their wildfire risk.   Sleepy Hollow is one of more than 1400 recognized Firewise Communities in the US, taking action and ownership in preparing and protecting their homes against the threat of wildfire.  

Using a five-step process, communities develop an action plan that guides their residential risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging their neighbors to become active participants in building a safer place to live. Neighborhoods throughout the United States are embracing the benefits of becoming a recognized Firewise Community!

Scientific research has shown the effectiveness and benefits of implementing wildfire mitigation concepts across individual property boundaries and throughout communities.


SHFPD in 2017 adopted our Wildfire Hazard and Wildland Urban Interface Area Assessment and Report.  The document is now available for download, below.

Highlights include:  Comprehensive Risk and Hazard Assessment, Wildfire Preparedness and Planning, Public Education, Evacuation Preparation, Vegetation Management and Reducing Structural Ignitability.   We strongly encourage all Sleepy Hollow residents to review this comprehensive report. 


Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District (SHFPD) in 2015 approved a planning project as the first step to our District  obtaining certification as a Firewise® community.  The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise® USA Program helps individuals to take responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire.  Firewise® communities are not only safer, but residents often see a significant reduction in the cost of homeowner’s insurance.

When the planning was completed in early 2016, we began to implement its recommendations.  Current and future projects will exceed the Firewise® certification requirements by taking a more comprehensive approach to public safety in our community.   The key components of the plan are as follows:

  • Apply for Firewise® certification (COMPLETE).
  • Develop a community wildfire hazard risk assessment (COMPLETE).
  • Create wildfire models showing the expected fire behavior across our landscape (COMPLETE).
  • Develop a strategy to reduce fire load in common areas (IN-PROGRESS).
  • Develop a strategy for individual parcel assessments (COMPLETE).
  • Develop a cost-effective mitigation strategy, including curbside pickup on Chipper Days (IN-PROGRESS).
  • Review and revise as necessary existing community planning, fire codes, and ordinances (IN-PROGRESS).
  • Identify and prioritize evacuation routes, including large animal evacuation (COMPLETE).
  • Create an all-hazards annex to address extreme weather, flooding, earthquake, etc (COMPLETE).
  • Develop a 5-year outreach and education campaign (COMPLETE).
  • Develop a plan to adopt and create community emergency response teams (C.E.R.T) (IN-PROGRESS)
  • Develop an exercise schedule to test the components of the plan, including evacuations, sheltering, warning and communications systems, and C.E.R.T. (IN-PROGRESS)
  • Identify grant programs and community partnerships to help support plan implementation (IN-PROGRESS).

The planning process included FireWise meetings at the Sleepy Hollow Community Center which were open to all SHFPD residents,  plus other opportunities for public input into development of the plan.   For continued implementation of the plan to be successful, community support and participation is essential.   We believe this plan is the roadmap to making us the best prepared Fire District in the County, if not the State!

Please refer to our website ( for additional information and/or to email Director Rich Shortall at with questions.


Saturday, August 5, 2017, Ross Valley Fire Department, Marin County Sheriff’s Office, Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District​, FIRESafe MARIN, and SHHA held an evacuation drill focused on the Van Winkle Drive neighborhoods.  All Sleepy Hollow residents were invited by mail and email to participate and attend a Safety Fair and wildfire simulation exercise at the Community Center - the drill took 30 minutes, beginning shortly after 9am, with the Safety Fair and wildfire simulation open until 11am.

Residents in the vicinity of Van Winkle Drive (and neighboring streets) received a “reverse 9-1-1” emergency notification by phone with instructions to evacuate to a rallying point (Sleepy Hollow Community Center, 1341 Butterfield Rd) where we had a Safety Fair with information and demonstrations on fire safety and evacuation tips.  The county's state-fo-the-art wildfire simulation "sand-table" was on display to help emergency managers plan for an eventual wildfire in Sleepy Hollow, and provide residents a glimpse at what a real wildfire might do to their neighborhood


June 11, 2016, 18 residents attended a  free, one-day seminar providing an overview of how homes ignite from wildfire, Firewise® principles, and actions residents can take to protect their home.  This is a great introductory course for concerned homeowners, agencies, community leaders, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about wildfires and the actions they can take to reduce wildfire losses.   Check back soon for dates for a 2017 class!