Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Defensible Space, Fire, California, Evaluation


California is one of the most fire-prone regions in the world, with every passing year becoming more hazardous. With a tremendous amount of loss and damage occurring every year due to wildfires, property owners must prepare their homes and structures to withstand fires as much as possible. The best way to achieve this is by building and retrofitting homes with fire-resistant materials and creating defensible space around the property (Cal Fire, n.d.). Although it is the best way to protect one’s property, it is often times difficult for property owners to do so because of financial or physical limitations, or because it is not the homeowner’s priority.

The town of Woodside, Plumas County Fire Safe Council, and the Mountain Communities Fire Council received funding through the city budget and grants from Cal Fire, The Forest Service, and PG&E to assist residents in creating defensible space. The research examined the question, did the programs provided by the town of Woodside, Plumas County Fire Safe Council, and the Mountain Communities Fire Council achieve their goals, and what can be learned from them? To answer the question, information was collected about the mitigation programs in the California jurisdictions of Woodside, Plumas County and San Bernardino County's Mountain Rim communities. It examined the problem of fire damage mitigation in the WUI in these areas, described the implementation of these mitigation programs, collected data about their implementation as displayed in the Findings section, and evaluated the effectiveness of these programs based on the data as discussed in the Analysis section.