August 2023
The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is the CAL FIRE program that protects life and property through the development and application of fire prevention, engineering, training and education, and enforcement.
The goal of this newsletter is to provide a quarterly update on all major updates from the OSFM. This month, we are focusing on information from our Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation Division including the announcement of our 700th Firewise Community in the state, information on how to become a Firewise USA® Community, and a review of how Wildfire Prevention Grants keep communities safe.
Upper Mark West Fire Safe Council in Sonoma County had the honor of becoming the 700th Firewise Community in the state. This community is no stranger to wildfire risk, having experienced the 2017 Tubbs Fire and 2020 Glass Fire that burned about 50% of their footprint. 
Wildfire Preparedness Reaches a Milestone

California has accomplished a new record of designated Firewise USA® communities with the recognition of Upper Mark West Fire Safe Council in Sonoma County as the 700th Firewise Community in the state. The recognition by the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) highlights the community’s efforts in the steps taken to ensure that wildfire risk is reduced in their area.
The national Firewise USA® program provides a collaborative framework to help neighbors get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community and to reduce wildfire risks at the local level.
10 Reasons to Become a Firewise USA® Community

Devastating wildfires burn across the United States each year, while a growing number of people are living where wildfires are a real risk. Although these fires will continue to happen, there are things you can do to help enhance the safety of your home and neighborhood.

In this article, we give you 10 reasons to become a Firewise community. Click below to learn more.
The community of River Pines, California recently became a Firewise community. In this video, the residents discuss why they believed that was important.
Wildfire Prevention Grants Keep Communities Safe

As part of California’s strategy to prepare properties and communities against the devastating impacts of wildfires, CAL FIRE announced it will direct nearly $113 million in funding for 96 local wildfire prevention projects across California. 

“This funding is a critical part of the state’s wildfire strategy,” said Joe Tyler, CAL FIRE director and fire chief. “These investments support local projects that engage citizens in wildfire prevention and education activities with the goal of increasing community resilience when wildfire strikes.”

The Wildfire Prevention Grants Program is funded in part through California Climate Investments (CCI), which puts cap-and-trade dollars to work. For more information about CAL FIRE’s other CCI programs, please visit CAL FIRE Grants.
A Defensible Space Inspector consults with a homeowner about the importance of defensible space and helps educate about the laws related to defensible space.
Defensible Space: First Line of Defense Against Wildfire

California’s peak wildfire season is upon us, so it’s important to take a look at home defense strategies and how you can protect your home and loved ones. Understanding how wildfire defensible zones work can provide people with the knowledge necessary to prevent serious property damage. The Office of the State Marshal helps provide homeowners with that knowledge.

Click below to learn more about our Defensible Space program or to request an inspection.
In a continued effort to keep Californians safe, the Office of the State Fire Marshal has seized and disposed of over 1 million pounds of fireworks in the last five years.
Post July 4th: What Happens to Seized Fireworks?

It was a busy year for our Arson and Bomb Unit, resulting in the seizure of 260,000 pounds of illegal fireworks since July 4, 2022.

California's Fireworks Law, passed in 1938, established OSFM as the only fireworks classification authority in California. As part of the program, OSFM requires the licensing of all pyrotechnic operators, fireworks manufacturers, importer-exporters, wholesalers, retailers, and public display companies.

CAL FIRE--Office of the State Fire Marshal has a new Seized Fireworks Reporting and Disposal online form that can be accessed below.
The State Fair is one of largest annual events in Sacramento County, attracting 590,000 visitors over its 17-day run.
Fire and Life Safety Division Ensures a Successful and Safe State Fair

The CAL EXPO hosted the annual California State Fair on July 14 through 30. Prior to the event, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Fire and Life Safety staff conducted fire and life safety inspections, ensuring the hundreds of food booths, vendors, and displays met the state’s fire code including, fire extinguisher placement, open emergency exiting, flammable item placement, and fire department access. OSFM's contributions made it safe for patrons to attend the concerts, rides, exhibits, public display fireworks and other events during the fair.

The division conducts inspections for new construction, existing buildings, fire protection systems, special events, pyrotechnics, and special hazards.