Skip to Content

Sonoma County Wildfire Adapted

SoCo Adapts - Our Community, Our Responsibility

The Sonoma County Wildfire Adapted program (SoCo Adapts) is a pilot program that uses community-scale risk-reduction techniques to reduce wildfire’s potential for home destruction.

Dry vegetation and other fuels near structures can increase the risk of fire spreading and the embers and heat from a wildfire can exploit building vulnerabilities. The Wildfire Adapted program helps residents within pre-determined, high-risk areas understand how to create defensible space and harden homes against the heat and embers of wildfire.

To stay up-to-date on the latest information for the SoCo Adapts program, sign up to receive email updates.

Wildfire Adapted Program Map

Wildfire Adapted Program Map Viewer

The Wildfire Adapted Program Map depicts the 14 areas that are currently included in the Wildfire Adapted program. These areas were selected based on wildfire hazard severity, population density, potential for home loss, and consultation with local fire authorities. Check to see if your property is included in the program area.

The Wildfire Adapted program is just one effort to reduce the risk of wildfire. You can learn more about our other Risk Reduction Programs and Planning Efforts.

Adapt Your Home

What Does the Wildfire Adapted Program Do?

The Wildfire Adapted program aims to help property owners learn how to reduce fire-related risks. The program provides defensible space and home wildfire risk assessments, community workshops, and rebates to help property owners understand, prioritize, and complete risk-reduction projects.

The Wildfire Adapted program has two phases:

Phase 1: Assessments to be completed in 2024.

Phase 2: Rebate incentives for defensible space/vegetation management and home hardening/structure improvements expected sometime in 2025-2026, depending on FEMA's release of funding to Sonoma County.

Phase One: Defensible Space and Home Wildfire Risk Assessments

Assessments identify risk-reduction strategies on and near your home and are not part of a code enforcement program. If you want to participate in the Home Hardening Rebate program, sign up now to get your free assessment today. Space is limited!

  • Home Wildfire Risk Assessment
    Home hardening means replacing or modifying parts of buildings that can cause them to catch fire, especially from windblown embers. Permit Sonoma and the Wildfire Adapted program have contracted with Wildfire DefenseWorks and Madronus Wildfire Defense to provide Home Wildfire Risk Assessments to the program areas. After each assessment, our trained assessors provide a list of potential vulnerabilities and what can be done to reduce risk. Like Defensible Space Assessments, these assessments are not part of a code compliance program. You must sign up to receive one— check if you're eligible for a free assessment. Time is limited!

  • Defensible Space Assessments
    Permit Sonoma’s professional fire inspectors go to homes in the program area to provide a free assessment of vegetation within 100 feet or buildings. These assessments provide information on essential vegetation management and risk-reduction techniques that can help reduce home ignition. The goal of the program is to inspire residents toward positive action. This is not a code compliance program. If you are in the project area, you should have received your Defensible Space Assessment. If you aren’t sure, or want to see a copy of results, please email wildfireadapted@sonoma-county.org.

Wildfire Adapted Program Property Lookup

Take the Rebate Interest Survey (link coming soon!)

We will be launching a rebate interest survey to help us learn more about how many applications and what types of projects property owners are considering. Filling out our interest survey is not the same as having your application accepted! Applications will open during Phase Two (estimated 2025 or 2026). However, if you fill out the survey now, your application will be in the first round for review when the application period opens. Plus, the survey may provide a valuable opportunity to work with Wildfire Adapted Staff to refine your project before the application opens. Sign up for email updates and check back here in mid-April 2024 to be notified when the survey will open.

Phase Two: Rebates to Help Reduce Risk

  • When Phase Two starts in 2025 or 2026, the Wildfire Adapted program may provide up to $10,000* in rebates to help property owners complete defensible space and/or home hardening tasks that were identified as priority actions in Defensible Space or Home Wildfire Assessments. Please sign up for email updates to hear about important program updates, check the website, and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!
  • Sonoma County's recent experience with wildfires and increasing concerns about availability and cost of homeowner’s insurance are significantly increasing pressure on residents to take action to reduce risk. SoCo Adapts program aims to provide guidance, identify constraints, and identify options to help you move forward. 

Why is it taking so long to get a Wildfire Adapted Rebate?

  • This program is funded by FEMA. As a program that relies on federal funding, we must comply with a wide range of regulations to ensure that tax dollars are being spent responsibly, equitably, and in a manner that avoids harm to the environment. Sonoma County’s innovative Wildfire Adapted program is one of the first of its kind nation-wide. We are proud to be first-out with a complex program such as this, but this also means that the nuts and bolts of implementation are new to us and our funder. Our progress from Assessments to the Phase Two reimbursement program has been much more prolonged and complicated than we had anticipated.
  • We understand the pressure that all Sonoma County residents feel to make their homes more resilient to wildfire. The Wildfire Adapted staff is working diligently to move the process forward.

Some important things to know:

  • No work can be performed before the County accepts your application and you have signed a contract for the agreed upon risk reduction activities. Applications and contracts will be accepted in Phase 2, estimated to begin in 2025 or 2026. There is no “retroactive” payment for any work performed before contract is signed by the property owner.
  • If you want to participate in the Home Hardening rebate program (i.e., replacing vulnerable elements on the structure itself, such as vents), you must have received a Home Wildfire Risk Assessment from Wildfire Adapted staff. (See above to sign up).
  • After you have completed work under the rebate program, you will have to pass a defensible space inspection to receive a rebate. This is an important consideration as you plan for your project. Contact us to speak with our assessors about what you will need to do to complete defensible space requirements.
  • Rebates may reimburse owners up to 75% of eligible costs up to an estimated $10,000. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Owners are encouraged to apply immediately once the submittal period opens in 2025 or 2026. Sign up for email updates so you don’t miss important dates!
  • The Wildfire Adapted program intends to help residents understand actions to take to reduce risk, inspire action, and provide financial incentives. 
  • If you are not in the project area or need additional funds, check out the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) program. This program can also be used to do home hardening.  

* Rebate amounts are subject to change.

Please Note: Work performed before approval of an application will not be eligible for reimbursement.

You will need a fully approved application and contract with the County of Sonoma before any reimbursable work can begin.

Rebate Program Step-by-Step:

    1. Sign up now for your free Structure Hardening Assessment! Time is limited and many areas have already closed. Check eligibility to see if your area is still open for assessments.  
    2. Complete the Rebate Interest Survey to receive priority application review when Phase 2 begins.
    3. Complete your Phase 2 application once the window opens, select the defensible space and home hardening projects you wish to complete; your selections will be reviewed for compatibility with grant priorities.
    4. Sign a contract with the County of Sonoma.
    5. Do the work. More information on contracting and getting the work done will be available as we move forward.
    6. Rebates available up to $10,000 (rebate amount is subject to change) will be made on a first-come, first-served basis— all work must occur after application approval and successful completion of the contract with the County.

Program Funding

Permit Sonoma received funding in 2020 from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to help Sonoma County Residents perform this important work. Total funding for both phases is $6.7 million.

Permit Sonoma received a second HMGP grant in November 2021 to expand this critical program to new communities in Sonoma County. Total funding is $2.5 million.

Additional Resources

  • The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) offers PACE financing for permanent energy, water, wildfire safety, and seismic strengthening improvements through the property tax system.   Financing is available for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, multifamily and certain non-profit projects. Check out program details here.
  • Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Chipper Program provides free chipper services to residents who are in unicorporated areas of the county. The purpose of the program is to create defensible space, specifically around the home, structures, and access routes to the structures, for properties located in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County. For unimproved properties, woody debris generated from areas within 30 feet of a structure or 20 feet from a roadway also qualifies for the program. 
  • Vegetation Management Grant Program provides resources and grant funding for vegetation management in areas at high-risk of wildfire.  Vegetation Management Grants
  • Wildfire Resilient Sonoma County is another FEMA grant that is still being planned and focuses on three service areas that are different than the SoCo Adpats service areas in order to expand the impact of the grants. More info coming soon!
  • Local organizations:
  • State organizations:
  • National organizations, such as:

Contact Information

For more information and/or questions about the Wildfire Adapted program, email us at WildfireAdapted@sonoma-county.org or call us at (707) 565-8575.