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Wildfire Mitigation Grants Program for Residents

About the Program

The San Rafael Fire Department and Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority have partnered together to offer wildfire grant opportunities to help residents with the costs of reducing wildfire risk on their properties. This website outlines the San Rafael Fire Department grants. There are multiple types of grants available, and residents may qualify for more than one. For more information on MWPA funding, visit www.marinwildfire.org/resident-info/resident-grants.

Grant funds are awarded as reimbursement for completed defensible space and/or home hardening projects identified in the evaluation.

Defensible Space is the buffer you create between buildings on your property and the grass, trees, and shrubs that surround it. This protects your home from wildfire by reducing the likelihood that flames will spread from your yard to your home. Residents can receive grant funding for removing or reducing high-risk flammable plants within 30 feet of a structure or 10 feet of a road.

Home Hardening addresses the most vulnerable components of a structure with building materials and installation techniques that increase resistance to wildfire heat, flames, and embers. Examples of eligible work include the installation of fire-resistant vents, gutter guards, and fire-resistant retrofitting of the exterior of the home.

Residents should prioritize the most hazardous risks on their property, including improvements required by San Rafael Municipal Code 4.12. Applications for recommended improvements may not be accepted until required work is completed.

Grant Eligibility

Any properties in the San Rafael zone are eligible for wildfire grant funding from the San Rafael Fire Department. This includes properties in incorporated San Rafael, and:

  • Los Ranchitos
  • Bayside Acres
  • Country Club Estates
  • Santa Venetia
  • Lucas Valley
  • Marinwood

How much money is available to residents?

Residents can choose to apply for San Rafael Fire Department, or be added to the waitlist for Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority grant funds.

The San Rafael Fire Department reimburses 50% of expenses, up to $1000 each for defensible space projects and home hardening work. More wildfire grant funding may be available for low-income residents who are completing work required by law.

What projects qualify for wildfire mitigation grant funding?

Grant funding is intended to prioritize the most urgent wildfire risk reduction work. Projects must address issues within 100 feet of structures or within 10 feet of a road or driveway. Residents should complete defensible space improvements starting with the issues closest to their home and work outwards. Projects such as window replacements will not be funded if defensible space work within 30 feet of the structure is not completed.

Only the expenses directly related to reducing wildfire risk will be covered. For example, if a contractor removes a Juniper bush and limbs a Redwood tree for aesthetic reasons, only the Juniper removal will be covered. Tax will be excluded from reimbursement if receipts include non-qualifying expenses.

Improving defensible space around your home*

  • Removing or reducing the amount of plants within 30 feet of structure or 10 feet of road
  • Creating space between existing plants and trees
  • One-time removal of dead plants and debris
  • Purchase of a fire-resistant tarp for wood piles

Home hardening to adapt your home to wildfire*

  • Covering exterior vents with fire resistant screens
  • Installation of gutter screens
  • Installation of tempered dual-paned windows and sliding glass doors to replace single pane windows
  • Fire resistant roof coverings and replacement of wood shake roofs
  • Replacing high risk materials on exterior walls, siding, and doors
  • Removing deck, patio, stairs or replacing flammable materials with fire-resistant alternatives

What is NOT eligible for wildfire grant funding?*

  • Routine or seasonal maintenance such as trimming grasses or removing dead leaves
  • Purchasing tools or equipment
  • Home hardening projects on detached accessory buildings such as a shed or garage that are located at least 50 feet from a building
  • Installation or maintenance of exterior Sprinkler Systems
  • Basic home improvements
  • Coating flammable materials with "fire-retardant" coatings

* These are not complete lists. Please reach out if you have questions about whether a project would qualify for grant funding.

Rules and Requirements

Residents must complete a comprehensive wildfire safety evaluation before applying for grant funds.

Work must be completed by a licensed San Rafael business. Check if your gardener is licensed on our Business Search webpage. This is not the same as being a licensed contractor through the State of California.

Payments must be made directly from the resident to a business.

Bills and invoices must be itemized to clearly demonstrate all costs are related to mitigation work included in your defensible space report. 

Grants are provided as reimbursements after residents have completed wildfire mitigation projects on their property.

How to apply for a wildfire grant

Residents can receive grant funding after completing the following three steps:

Questions?

Our team is here to help! Please reach out if you have any questions about the wildfire grant program. You can reach us at srfd.grants@cityofsanrafael.org.

If you would prefer a paper copy of the grant application, please reach out to grants@marinwildfire.org.

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