Skip navigation
All Places > Fire Break > Blog > 2011 > August

After a full day of education sessions, networking and presentations at NFPA’s Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference, participants will surely want to seek out a place to unwind and have a few laughs in the evening. To this end, every Wednesday we’ll highlight a fun place to visit while you’re in Denver.

Buckhorn Exchange Denver Our first suggestion will surely bring out the Wild Wild West in you.  The Buckhorn Exchange restaurant is Denver’s oldest steak house, and located just five minutes from the downtown area.  Built in the late 19th century, the structure that houses the restaurant is designated as a historic landmark and has been graced by the presence of five U.S. presidents. Well known for its 575-piece taxidermy collection that includes deer, water buffalo, and mountain lion, the Buckhorn Exchange is the perfect place to get your John Wayne on.  It was also once featured on an episode of the Travel Channel’s popular series, “Man vs. Food.”

The old-Western themed menu boasts dishes such as rocky mountain oysters, prime grade steaks, baby-back ribs, elk, salmon, and exotic alligator tail.  While you’re there, be sure to check with your waitress if they have rattlesnake.  It’s a delicacy!  Guests of the Buckhorn Exchange can also enjoy the musical styling’s of seasoned country crooners four times a week.  Spurs optional.

For more information and to register, visit our 2011 Backyards & Beyond Wildfire Education Conference page on our website.

-Dave “What are the top (3) three lessons you hope to learn from the Conference and bring back to your community, fire house, organization or association?”

The answer to that question just may get you a free registration to this year's event in Denver. Whether you're a regular attendee or will be a first-time attendee, we'd like to know why you attend and what you get out of NFPA’s Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference.

Between August 29 – September 28, 2011, we're asking you to tell us, in 200 words or less, what the event means to you. An NFPA panel will select one winning entry and announce the winner by September 29, 2011. All submissions will become the property of NFPA.

It's easy to enter: just click on the "Comments" link below and let us know what you hope to learn from the Backyards & Beyond Conference. Your entry must include your full name, e-mail address, and daytime telephone number.

Hurry! Contest ends September 28, 2011.

  • All entries must include your full name, e-mail address, city, state, and daytime telephone number. Entries will be kept private until the end of the contest, when NFPA may choose to make the entries public. E-mail addresses and phone numbers will be removed before entries are made public.
  • We will only accept one (1) entry per eligible person for the duration of the Contest.
  • All entries become the property of NFPA and can be used for promotional, marketing or any other purpose.
  • See the complete list of rules for this contest or visit the Backyards & Beyond website for more information on the conference

Backyards & Beyond


Firewise and NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division are hiring due to some new and exciting projects. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please get your applications in soon! Details on the position are below: 

Associate Project Manager, Wildland Fire Operations
Location: Quincy, MA
Type: Exempt, Full Time – Experienced
Salary (Gr 10): $50,100 - $65,000
Effective Date: Immediately

PURPOSE: The Associate Project Manager is responsible for coordination of program management, projects, and reporting of activities related to the Firewise program and related Wildland Fire Operations Division initiatives. 

For more details on the job requirements and responsibilities, as well as information on how to apply, visit the NFPA Careers page

BLM Firewise Garden, Idaho The NFPA Firewise staff is in Idaho this week visiting with Idaho Firewise, state & local fire officials and federal partners. While there, the team toured the Idaho Botanical Garden, which includes the BLM Firewise Garden. The BLM Firewise Garden was developed just outside of the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden Wetland. It is a partnership between the Bureau of Land Management and CWC Horticulture Program. 6 Idaho ABC 6 out of Boise, ID recorded the tour in a video clip that can be seen on their website along with some tips on making your own landscape Firewise. They additionally quote Michele as saying:

“Destruction is not inevitable in a wildland fire,” says Michelle Steinberg of the National Fire Protection Association. “People can do many things around their home, with the home itself and everything around it within a couple feet that make a big difference.” 

FirewiseCommunitiesUSA The NFPA Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program is celebrating its 10th anniversary and honoring nine original pilot sites for their continued participation and successes in reducing wildfire risks!

The nine sites being honored were among the first to become involved in this volunteer community action model. The Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program was born out of the Firewise Communities program in 2001 to give communities the opportunity to work together toward wildland fire preparedness to save lives, property and natural resources. The Firewise Communities Program was developed in the 1980’s in response to the severe property losses from brush, grass and forest fires across the country.

Read about the nine “founding” communities that are celebrating their 10-year anniversaries of active participation as Firewise Communities/USA sites and learn more about their pioneering efforts.

On July 29th, the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise® program participated in the Weeks Act Centennial Festival at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto in Gorham, New Hampshire. In 1911, the Weeks Act led to the creation of the National Forest east of the Mississippi in the Eastern United States.

The event, attended by over 700 local people and vacationers, offered a Main Pavilion showcasing local services, products and attractions, as well as a Woodlands Pavilion offering demonstrations from craftsmen creating their wares from wood. Here, attendees could also learn about what the forest has to offer. The Forest and Family Pavilion offered an expansive plant display, the Mt Washington Weather Observatory, a US Forest Service soil investigation pit, a water, pond and stream discovery display, and New Hampshire’s Division of Forest and Lands had a wildfire truck display along with a wildland fire obstacle course for children.

The Forest & Family Pavilion also included the Firewise exhibit where folks learned about the program. Vacationing homeowners from around the US recalled the Bitterroot, Montana fire in 2000, and understanding the need to prepare their home from wildland fire, requested information not only for themselves, but for other family members living in fire prone areas in other parts of the United States wanting to make sure they too were aware of what they can do to make their properties safer from wildfire.

Weeks Act Forest and Family Pavilion 
Weeks Act Centennial Festival Forest & Family Pavilion 

Weeks Act Firewise exhibit 
Weeks Act Centennial Festival Firewise Exhibit

There will be other events during the summer to celebrate the Weeks Act. To learn more about upcoming events click here or visit the Weeks Act Legacy website.

-Cheryl Blake

According to a recent report by  the USDA Forest Service, the combination of fuel treatments (tree thinning) on the landscape and Firewise principles applied around homes in Alpine, Arizona, allowed firefighters to deliver the "knock-out punch" saving homes from the Wallow Fire that raged through 40,000 acres in just six days.

This short report includes numerous photos clearly illustrating how the fire behaved as it rapidly consumed all the available fuel in overgrown forest areas, and then slowed and dropped to the ground as it moved into the areas where trees had been thinned out to separate their crowns and where brushy fuels that serve as "ladders" for the fire had been removed. Fire in tree crowns can spread quickly along the forest, with long flame lengths and greater heat than a fire in more sparsely vegetated areas.

Besides slowing the fire and reducing the heat, fuel treatments begun as long ago as 2004 provided strategic locations for firefighters to be able to set up and fight the fire. According to one fire managment officer, "Without the fuel treatments, I never would have had a firefighter there." The potential was just too great for injury or death had the area been left untreated.

The report documents the successful "saves" of nearly every home in Alpine and the nearby community of Greer, crediting not only the fuel treatments and the defense by firefighters, but also the work of property owners themselves.  The report says that, "even though they experienced ember showers and low-intensity surface fires, many of the other Alpine structures that survived the Wallow Fire did so because of these prior fuel treatments, as well as “Firewise” construction and landscaping completed by the land owners."

Photo from report "How Fuel Treatments Saved Homes from the 2011 Wallow Fire," USDA Forest Service

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: