Last week, I had a great opportunity to help my fellow Massachusetts residents understand more about the smoke and flames they have been observing in marshes, woods, and areas just a bit too close to roads, homes and businesses during this unusually dry and warm spring.
NFPA issued an advisory for Massachusetts warning of the high risk of brush fires (that’s what we call wildfires in New England) and providing Firewise safety tips. The editors of WickedLocal.com*, a "portal" site representing featured content from 158 small local Massachusetts community websites, contacted NFPA and area fire chiefs to develop a live blog media interview to address the issue with readers. WickedLocal.com is part of the GateHouse Media group.
The editors did a great job of gathering visuals from the area as well as preparing to post Firewise videos and links. Along with Plymouth Fire Chief Ed Bradley and Norwell Fire Chief Andy Reardon, I fielded questions from participants as well as the journalists who have been following the regional fire situation with concern. The technology was a lot of fun to use and even got praise from the local Editor-in-Chief this week for the creative use of the live blog forum to cover this topic.
You can get a summary of the forum here or access the “Cover It Live” transcript of our talk by clicking here (be sure to scroll down to the box at the bottom of the page that looks like the image above, and click “Replay”). And if you’ve got questions about brush, grass or forest fire, be sure to get in touch with your local fire department, forestry service or Firewise staff.
*Note: For those outside the region, “wicked” is an adverb equivalent to “very.” Other people might have seen the wildfire in the Neponset River Reservation near Route 128 on television and said, “That is a very large fire,” but in Boston we would be more likely to say, “Didja see that brush fire offa 128? It was wicked big!”