FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Fire hazards are the physical conditions and elements that determine the likelihood an area will burn. Fire risk is the likelihood a fire will occur as a result of fire hazards, the intensity of the fire behavior, and the effect or extent of damage to valued assets.
The Wildfire Fuel Mapper maps use the best available data for our region, using various sources such as ground observations, satellite imagery and other geospatial data. Many of the static maps in the report were created using data products from the 2013 Sonoma County Vegetation Mapping and LiDAR program. The Sonoma County Vegetation Mapping and LiDAR program collected vegetation data at a 5 meter resolution, producing data products that provide a more detailed view of our landscape than other publicly available datasets, which often come at 30mx30m or greater. The maps in the report offer a unique and important compilation of maps at both a property and landscape scale that hasn’t previously been accessible. It is important to note that because much of the data used in the map reports are from 2013, elements on your property (e.g. vegetation height, ladder fuels) could have changed since then.
All parcels of 3 acres of greater within Sonoma County are available for download. If you do not see your parcel, it is likely because it is too small of a parcel or it does not fall within Sonoma County boundaries.
While the The Wildfire Fuel Mapper can provide users with a lot of information to understand landscape elements and assess fire hazards on their land, there are critical steps and planning requirements necessary to take before implementing a fuel management plan. Before treating fuels on your landscape, it is important that you consult with a specialist to plan your fuel reduction project. To find specialists to help you, visit the “Resources & Data” page on our website: https://wildfirefuelmapper.org/resources.html.
Your parcel report should line up with your neighbor’s property, however, only if their property is 3 acres or greater. Parcels smaller than 3 acres will not appear on the Wildfire Fuel Mapper maps.
Some roads may not be detectable by the datasets used in the Wildfire Fuel Mapper maps. Users can use the Street Map or 2020 Imagery map to identify landmarks/structures on their property in order to locate and draw where their undetected roads occur.
Previous fires are important to consider when evaluating current fuels and fire hazards. The length of time since fire occurrence and the severity of the fire play a role in vegetation type, density, and accumulation. Because the vegetation maps used in the Wildfire Fuel Mapper report are from the Sonoma County LiDAR program in 2013, vegetation on your property may have changed since then, especially if your property has burned. We advise working with a specialist or expert to assess post-fire fuels and changes in vegetation.
There are different kinds of specialists and experts that can help with different components of the fuel management process, including implementation, technical assistance, or planning. For a quick link to the Wildfire Fuel Mapper’s compiled list of specialists and professionals to contact, please visit: https://wildfirefuelmapper.org/resources.html.