Topanga residents have two opportunities in May to learn about critical wildfire safety measures like home hardening and fire-safe gardening. 

The Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (RCDSMM) and TriunfoWater & Sanitation District are sponsoring a free online class on Firewise Landscaping, Wednesday, May 12, at 7 p.m., on Zoom.

The class covers ways homeowners can harden their house and other buildings by modifying their landscaping, outlines the different zones of defensible space surrounding their homes, and includes examples of fire-resistant and native plants to use in each area. 

The webinar will include a live demonstration of the defensiblespace.org website to guide homeowners in creating and maintaining a sustainable, defensible space. 

Although there is no charge for the class, pre-registration is required. Email twsd@triunfowsd.com. For more information, visit triunfowsd.com or call 805-658-4608.

5Journeys Farm, a start-up co-op farm in Topanga, is also hosting an online firewise training program for homeowners and community members from May 17 through May 21. The five-day course begins each night at 6:30 p.m. Each session is 30-60 minutes and the course will cover “ways to protect homes and the entire Santa Monica Mountains from the increasingly dangerous fire season.” 

Haven McVarish, 5Journeys lead organizer, said the tragedy that occurred when the community of Paradise, California, burned in 2018 could happen here in the Santa Monica Mountains. 

“While individuals can’t change El Nino or global warming, as a community, we can reverse local impacts to protect us better,” McVarish said. On Saturday, May 22 from 4-7 p.m., 5Journeys Farm will host an in-person outdoor workshop with a nominal entrance fee. Workshops include composting, building compost toilets, installing greywater systems, vermiculture, cover crops and fire-wise gardens. To sign-up, email training@5journeys.org, or visit www.5Journeys.org