Reduce California’s Fire Risk

Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021

Time: 2pm-7pm (Schedule Follows)

Location: REMO (Online)

Tickets: Free and Available Now

Join USGBC-LA as it brings together the fire science and prevention, sustainability, and green building communities to jointly reduce California’s wildfire risk. While policies enforcing smart action are most certainly on the way, this proactive, innovative group will look at steps homeowners and homebuilders can take right now to improve our individual and community safety.

SCHEDULE overview

The program is designed to inspire and inform.

2-4pm Property Tours

4:10-5pm Leaders of Wildfire Defense

5:10-6pm Responsible Planning and Building Panels

Opportunities to network via the REMO platform are interspersed throughout the schedule.


Fire-Defensive Property Tours (2-4pm)
Enjoy tours of homes and gardens designed to reduce fire risk. Along with tours from USGBC-LA northern and central chapters, Plant Prefab and the Chaparral Institute, FormLA Landscaping and Theodore Payne Foundation will collaborate on two tours:

Tour Led by Theodore Payne Foundation’s Erin Johnson. Get out in the greenery of a lush, leafy fire defensive landscape! Erin will be joined by the garden’s owner and its designer. You’ll see: Structures to “catch” embers in route to a home, how hydration protects defensible space, and why the most defensible spaces are also incredibly livable, beautiful, and sustainable. (2:20-2:40pm)

Tour Led by FormLA Landscaping’s Cassy Aoyagi. See the defensive landscaping practices around a remarkable hilltop, mid-century modern home designed by Jean Roth Driskel. Cassy will be joined by Theodore Payne Foundation board member Gary Breaux and landscape designer Eric Crow. (3:40-4pm)
Leaders of Wildfire Defense (4:10-5pm)
New California policies aimed at reducing the state’s fire risk go into effect this year, and more are under consideration. Hear from state leaders on how we can help support efforts to increase fire resilience with California Insurance Commissioner, Ricardo Lara, Senator Anthony Portantino, Senator Henry Stern, Assemblymember Jim Wood, and Deputy Secretary for Forest and Wildfire Resilience, Jessica Morse.
Responsible Urban Planning (5:10-6pm)
Reducing Fire Risk Through Informed and Effective Community Development

California’s fire-related losses are so profound, insurers are beginning to refuse coverage to full communities. The urban planning and development decisions we make now can place more property and people in harm’s way or reduce California’s fire risk.

Explore California’s challenges, options and professional responsibilities as planning and development experts ask:

  1. Why are our planning and development decisions so critical to the safety of people and property?
  2. What role can urban planners and developers play in creating resilient, insurable communities?
  3. Where should we be placing the homes sorely needed to address our shortage?
  4. How can we ensure established and new communities
  5. When will it be financially feasible to act?

Speakers include: James Carlson (moderator), Ilkay Altintas, Richard Halsey, David Shrew, and Reema Shakra.
Resilient Building Design and Maintenance (6:10-7pm)
Reducing Fire Risk Through Smart Home “Hardening” and Defensive Landscaping Practices

More than 4.5 million homes sit inside California’s wildlife urban interface (WUI), more than in any other state. This presents distinctive dangers for the state, as homes and other built-structures are the greatest fire dangers in these areas. Join leading architects and builders already addressing the market for less vulnerable homes and landscapes as they explore:

  1. How can architects and builders create homes that effectively resist fire?
  2. Where is “hardened” building and defensive landscaping most needed?
  3. When will there be a market for fire-hardened homes and landscapes?

Speakers include: Marc William Los Huertos (moderator) Ron Durbin, Steve Glenn, John Lavender and Clark Stevens