About the TCFSC

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. Since 2010 the area we represent has expanded to all of Topanga Canyon, so we are now known as the Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council (TCFSC).

Our 2012 Grant: "27-EASE"

In 2012 the Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council (TCFSC) 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 a 5.6-mile section of Topanga Canyon Boulevard. All work was done with the consent of property owners on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

• Increased 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 was presented 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 trained teams of community volunteers to identify potential fire risks and offer homeowners a free, personalized home igntion zone evaluation program. The format was based upon the materials presented at the Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone Workshop. Home Ignition Zone Evaluations are now available through the Resource Conservaton District of the Santa Monica Mountains

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.

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 Kuehl's office, T-CEP and other local organizations.

Current Focus

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

In 2020 We turned over our Home Igntion Zone Evaluation program to the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains. As of September 2021 they have evaluated another 150 homes in the Santsa Monica Mountains.

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