California Wildfire Mitigation Program - Home Hardening Initiative

Currently accepting applications (from Dulzura Residents only at this time).

Get help protecting your home from wildfire. 

A pilot program can pay for contractors to create defensible space or make safety improvement to your home. The program is for residents with low or moderate income.   

The help is only for homes in these areas at these times:

 Dulzura (Apply now)

 Potrero (Coming in future)

 Campo (Coming in future)

 Dulzura applicants please apply here:

County Fire can help you with your application.  To contact us:

Who can apply:

You must be the legal homeowner to apply.  Your name must be on the deed.

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen.


Homes that qualify:

  • Single-family
  • Multi-family, but not apartment complexes
  • Duplexes
  • Manufactured homes
  • Mobile homes
  • Does not hae to be a primary residence
  • Rental units are OK.  The legal homowner must apply.  You can apply for more than one property.

For more information, please see below.

Home Hardening Flyer (English)   

Folleto de Endurecimiento del Hogar (en Espanol)


How it works

If the state accepts your application, we will come to check your home and create a report.  The report will show how much help you can get and list steps you must or could take.

Actions include:

  • Create defensible space. That means clearing trees, brush or other things that can burn, away from your home.
  • Retrofits. This is changing materials on your home or doing other work that better protects it from burning. It can include replacing your roof, doors, vents or other parts of the home. 

We will arrange for contractors to do the work. In most cases, you will not need to pay up front and wait to get reimbursed.


The improvements might help you get a discount on your insurance.  You need to contact your insurance company to check.

About the pilot

The California Wildfire Mitigation Program identified areas with high wildfire risk and vulnerable residents.  Visit the program website to learn more about how it chose areas.

The state chose three San Diego County communities for the pilot.  They may add more in the future. 

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  • What social vulnerablity factors were prioritized for this program?

    The five social vulnerability factors prioritized in the State enabling legislation for this program include: residents over age 65, residents in poverty, residents with a disability, residents with limited English, and residents without a car. Percentages were obtained from Center for Disease Control Social Vulnerability Index (2018) and only include census tracts in the High and Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones.

  • What is the Home-Hardening Program?

    The California Wildfire Mitigation Home-hardening Program is a partnership between California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), California Forest and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and local communities that focuses on developing community home hardening programs to retrofit, harden, and create defensible space for homes at high risk to wildfires. This program targets high social-vulnerability communities and provide financial assistance to qualifying low-and moderate-income (LMI) households.

  • What San Diego communities qualified for this pilot program?

    There are total of three San Diego communities that have been identified to pilot the Home Hardening Program by CAL OES and CAL FIRE. Dulzura is the first community that will participate for the year (anticipated to start in Fall 2023). The program will be expanding to the communities of Potrero and Campo. It is important to note that during the pilot phase of the California Wildfire Mitigation Program development, demonstration communities will aim to harden a small number of homes. In time, the program can be expanded to other areas.

  • How were the communities selected to participate?

    San Diego County was prioritized as a potential demonstration county after Cal OES and CAL FIRE conducted a state-wide analysis of areas with high wildfire risk and high social vulnerability (residents over age 65, residents in poverty, residents with a disability, residents with limited English, and residents without a car) at the parcel and census-tract level. Fire risk, climate change, and census data were included in the analyses.

  • What can I do if my application gets denied?

    If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision. If you wish to appeal the decision, your program liaison can provide you with more information on the appeal process.

  • What is eligible under the program?
    • Defensible space measures: removing vegetation near structures, cleaning gutters, cutting back trees, etc
      • Zones surrounding the primary residential structure and accessory units
      • Defensible space will be prioritized before retrofit measures
    • Retrofit measures (or home hardening) that address the flammability or combustibility of structures, including replacing plastic screens with metal, replacing roofs and eaves with fire resitant materials, replacing vents, doors, decks, and more.
      • Recommendations prioritized by the vulnerability (Embers, Radiant Heat, and Flame)
      • Primary residential, then accessory units
  • Do I get to choose what work gets done on my property?

    If your home is preliminary approved, a home assessment will be conducted, and an individualized home assessment report will be generated specific to your property. This report will contain required, recommended, and optional measures for program participation.

  • Do you need to come inside for the assessment?

    The home assessment is an exterior review of the property and the home. It is unlikely assessors will need to go inside homes during assessments.

  • Do you need to come inside my house to complete the actual retrofit?

    Contractors may need to enter the structure if certain retrofit measures are included for your property (for example, replacing windows, doors, vents, etc.).