About the NTCFSC

Left to right: Ryan Ulyate and Beth Burnam and Captain Tim Podczerviensky of L.A. County Fire Dept. 
discuss the map that defines the borders of the North Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council. (photo by John Albert)

About Us

The North Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council (NTCFSC) was formed in 2010
as a result of the recommendations from the Santa Monica Mountains Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Our mission is to "inspire and empower our community to mitigate the risks of fire to Topanga through collaboration, education and development of resources."  We are a volunteer organization made up of Topanga Canyon residents who are working with our community, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the National Park Service, Southern California Edison, and other stakeholders to help make Topanga a more Fire Adapted Community

The NTCFSC represents the area in Topanga Canyon described as north along State Route 27 (Topanga Canyon Boulevard) from Fernwood-Pacific to the Top of Topanga, and all accessing side canyons except for Fernwood-Pacific (South Topanga Canyon FSC) and Old Topanga Canyon (West Topanga Canyon FSC). The number of homes in the NTCFSC service area is 1,169 (per realtor analysis), the number of residents is 4,840 (calculated) and the value of property is $1,063,600,000.00 (per realtor analysis).

Our 2012 Grant: "27-EASE"

In 2012 the North Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council (NTCFSC) was awarded an $81,500 grant from the California Fire Safe Council (CFSC) for its project, “Route 27 Evacuation and Safety Enhancement (27 EASE).” 
The funding was provided by a National Fire Plan Grant from the Cooperative Fire Programs of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region through the California Fire Safe Council.  There are over 140 Local Fire Safe Councils in California. In 2010 we were the only one in Southern California to receive such a grant.

The project, 27-EASE, was carefully scaled to begin to address the significant fire safety needs of our community and will focus on three critical areas:

 • Safer Egress and Ingress During a Fire Event: The 2-EASE project intends to remove or trim hazardous vegetation identified by a LA County Fire Department Forester affecting access along the NTCFSC’s 5.6-mile section of Topanga Canyon Boulevard. All work will be with the consent of property owners on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

 • Increase Resident Pre-Fire Preparation and Prevention through Education: NTCFSC has completed, (in association with The Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness and the Topanga Branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library) a 4-part Lecture Series designed to educate residents about steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk posed by wildfire. The videos are available online at the NTCFSC YouTube Channel.

 • Perform Home Ignition Zone Evaluations: NTCFSC has trained teams of community volunteers to identify potential fire risks and offer homeowners a free, personalized home igntion zone evaluation program. The format is based upon the materials presented at the Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone Workshop.

27 EASE Accounting

The California Fire Safe Council 2012 grant funds of $81,500 were spent as follows:

94.4%  ($77,287) for Hazardous Vegetation Removal.

4.3% ($3,500) for our Fiscal Sponsor Fee.

1.3% ($1,063) for Supplies / Travel / Conferences.

The California Fire Safe Council grant terms required a dollar-for-dollar match of  $81,500. In fact, we reported $244,629 of match: $3 of match-for $1 of grant funds.  The match included 2,659 hours of documented volunteer time. Thanks to all our volunteers that put tremendous time and effort into making Topanga Canyon a more Fire Adapted Community. We could not do this without the broad community support that that we enjoy. Thanks for "talking the talk", but more importantly over 2500 hours of "walking the walk"!

In addition we received  a grant for $6,5544 from the National Park Service to help produce our 4-part video series. Thanks to the generous contribution of in-kind hours by TCM Video and to all our speakers who came out to Topanga, at no cost, to deliver the important information on these videos. 

Follow-On Grants

In 2013 we were awarded a grant for $88,000 from the National Park Service, and 2014 we were awarded another grant for $92,000 through the California Fire Safe Council. The percentages of funds allocated, volunteer hours and match funds generated are on track to be roughly the same as our 2012 grant. 

We are also seeking a new grant to help property owners reduce the threat from dying and hazardous vegetation throughout Topanga. This is something we have got many calls about from Topangans who are concerned about this unprecedented drought and it's sad effect on the vegetation in our canyon. No word on if and when this will be funded, but as soon as we know, we'll post the info here.

Thanks for the support and goodwill from our volunteers, the numerous property owners we were able to assist with hazardous vegetation mitigation and home ignition zone evaluations, the California Fire Safe Council, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the National Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, Southern California Edison, Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s office, T-CEP and other local organizations.

Our work continues to assist Topanga in becoming a more Fire Adapted Community.

For more information, contact Beth Burnam and Ryan Ulyate, Co-Presidents of the NTCFSC, at firesafe@ntcfsc.org