Welcome and Introduction

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Course Description

Defensible Space Inspections - Challenges Faced by the Inspectors

Instructor: Chris McMasters

This class will cover the challenges that both fire departments, county agencies and the defensible space inspectors face in the field and on a day to day basis. During this session, we will be discussing:

  • Logistical issues with staffing, vehicles, and equipment;
  • Some of the safety issues inspectors may encounter while in the field doing defensible space inspections;
  • The different types of homeowners inspectors may encounter, such as the individual that wants to do the work, the neighborhood snitch, Sovereign citizens and other uncooperative homeowners;
  • Property fortifications like gates, no trespassing signs, and other warning signs. 


Chris McMaster

Chris has been in the fire service since 2003.  He first started in the fire service as a volunteer for a small department and had moved his way up to paid staff as Fire Captain. As a member of a combination department with both volunteer and career staff, he has often been tasked with preparing and presenting trainings to both the volunteer and career staff on various skills.

Chris worked for local government, state government, and private fire agencies throughout California and Nevada. For the last 10 years, he has concentrated on fire prevention for those agencies. While working on more traditional prevention duties, the emphasis on wildland urban interface inspections became more desired, he transitioned to a position with Nevada County Office of Emergency Services with whom he worked with previously and developed the Community Emergency Response Team Program for Nevada County.

When Chris came back to Nevada County as a Defensible Space Inspector/E.O.C. Fire Liaison, he was tasked with developing a defensible space program for the County, which included program development, hiring and training personnel, and implementation to achieve set goals by OES and Nevada County Board of Supervisors. Chris is continually active in a wildland urban interface program primarily in a supervisory role to the present day.