California County Replacing Shake Shingle Roofs

Hoping to cut the wildfire risk, San Bernardino county homeowners are being asked to replace their wood shingle roofs with a more fire retardant roofing material. With grants from FEMA, the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District is helping residents pay to replace their shake- shingle roofs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded $1 million; approximately $700,000 of which has already been spent. The aim of the first grant was to create a line of defense separating the national forest and the urban area.

Homes within 1,500 feet of the forest will be re-roofed first. 150 homes were targeted for the first grant to replace the shake roofs. Three more FEMA grants totaling $4.3 million have been approved and are waiting for the funds to be released.

Up to 70% Reimbursement

The time consuming process takes about 18 months, first they identify the at risk properties, talk with homeowners and outline the regulations. FEMA and the fire agency are requiring homeowners to create defensible space on their property before receiving approval for the cost share reimbursement. Up to 70% of the cost to replace the shake-shingle roof will be reimbursed if all conditions are met.

They are looking at 900 homes including the mountain communities to have their roofs replaced. Roofing contractors with knowledge of defensible space will be paid out of the grant funds for the shingle replacement.

If you would like more information on the program you can contact David Yegge, the fuels reduction specialist for Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District at (909) 866-4668.

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