For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Ed Galvin, Public Information Officer , (510) 981-5752
RESULTS OF BERKELEY'S FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT NOW AVAILABLE ON-LINE
Hazardous Hills Area Risk Assessment Conducted
Berkeley, California (Wednesday, January 18, 2006) - Berkeley Fire Department’s Fire Risk Assessment results are now available on-line at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/fire/. Berkeley residents can view their assessments and improve their home fire safety by visiting this site.
Between June 6 and September 23, 2005, the Fire Department conducted fire risk assessments of the 8,358 parcels in the hazardous hills area. Data was collected by interns who walked parcel-to-parcel in the hills and filled out a form for each parcel as viewed from the public right-of-way. The assessments collected information for five categories:
Means of access
Roofing assembly and building construction
Available fire protection
Placement of utilities
The results of this assessment are now available by visiting the Berkeley Fire Department Web Site at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/fire/, scrolling down on the Fire Department Home Page to Special Interest, and clicking on Hazardous Fire Area Assessments. Follow the directions for accessing the Home Fire Risk Assessment and looking up properties by address or parcel number. Information about the assessment program and how to improve a property’s fire safety can also be found on the website.
By looking up a parcel’s assessment information and reviewing the “Protect Your Home from Wildfire” checklist, property owners can identify elements of their yard or house that can be improved. Currently the Fire Department is providing residents with the parcel’s assessment information and has not assigned fire risk “scores” to the individual parcels. Berkeley is working with the University of California and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to develop a scoring system that may become a standard for the State.
In August 2004, the City of Berkeley received a $590,000 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reduce fire hazard in the Berkeley Hills. The grant funded several projects in Berkeley, including
· Pathway Improvement of the Upper Glendale and Upper Berryman Paths
· Fire Fuel Reduction and Fuel Chipper Programs
· Parcel Evaluations and GIS Project (including this fire risk assessment)
· Education and Outreach
This wildfire website is public record and the information it contains is accessible to anyone. The website provides information on parcels throughout Berkeley, but only those parcels in the hazardous hills fire area have fire risk assessment information. Additional information including Parcel Condition Report and Building Permit History has been included for all parcels in the system. For information about this program contact Deputy Fire Chief David Orth at 510-981-5501 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.