Prepare Homes for Wildfire with The Community Brigade

Tyler Hauptman, a Certified Wildfire Mitigation Specialist, is with his family at the Village Green.



In the world, there are just some things that seem to go together perfectly. Ketchup and fries, pepperoni and pizza, California and wildfires. In the first three months of 2024, the California fire department has already responded to 126 wildfires, and 80,575 total fire incidents. Yet despite living in such a fire-prone state, the average Californian doesn’t know much about fire safety besides “stop, drop and roll.”

That is where Tyler Hauptman and the pilot program “Community Brigade” come in.

Hauptman, who lives in Pacific Palisades, grew up in Trancas Canyon in Malibu.

He went into the specialty field of wildfire science after his parents lost their house during the Woolsey fire in 2018. They were not the only ones. Hauptman’s brother, uncle, and several of his friends lost their homes, too.

“It became a passion of mine to understand how homes burn during wildfires, in order to have peace of mind for rebuilding,” Hauptman said. Once he understood the HIZ (Home Ignition Zone) principles, it became clear why some homes burned, and others survived.

“How we prepare for an inevitable wildfire is going to make all the difference if your home is lost or still standing after an event, including your neighbors’.

“So, similar to a virology herd immunity approach, if one home mitigates and decreases their chances of ignition, then that decreases the chances your neighbor’s house will burn too,” Hauptman said.

Hauptman, now a Certified Wildfire Mitigation Specialist (a title less than 100 people in the United States have) and member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), created this program to “help bridge the gap between professional first response agencies and local communities during major disaster events.”

The Community Brigade is a joint project between the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation (LAEPF), which holds events teaching homeowners how better to protect themselves from wildfires. The program will be launched later this year – just in time for fire season.

Hauptman has also created an app called Ignition Zone. Using Ignition Zone, homeowners can call LAEPF specialists for a FREE inspection of their home and a report on how to better shield against possible fire outbreaks.

Those interested in receiving a free fire inspection click here to schedule an appointment. For this free service, the Community Brigade and Ignition programs rely on both state funding and individual donations click here.

As Smokey the Bear says, “Only YOU can help prevent wildfires!” And with the Community Brigade, YOU can prevent your home from burning.



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