In 2006, wildfire practitioners from South Africa (now known as the Forest Fire Association Non Profit Company , or FFA NPC) met NFPA’s Firewise staff at a Backyards and Beyond conference.  The South African representatives learned about the Firewise Communities Program in the U.S. and received Firewise information for potential application in South Africa.
Since that time, FFA NPC has built their Firewise program by adapting Firewise concepts to suit African and other developing country situations. These efforts are encouraging broad-based dissemination and ownership of the concepts in poor, deep rural and urban communities.
When NFPA and FFA NPC staff met again in 2011 at the th 5<sup>th </sup>International Wildland Fire Conference in Sun City, South Africa, it became clear that there were many opportunities for renewed collaboration on Firewise and other wildfire outreach efforts.  As a result, the two organizations recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to acknowledge their existing relationship, formalize a pathway for sharing lessons learned, promote the Firewise program within each organization’s country, and continue support of international relationships that tackle global wildfire mitigation issues.
This MOU reinforces NFPA’s commitment to international outreach with wildfire partners across the globe.  In 2011, NFPA also signed an MOU with the Canadian non-profit association, Partners in Protection . That MOU has proven to be an active instrument for both organizations to openly share research, best practices and lessons learned related to wildfire science and mitigation.
NFPA staff are excited to have these opportunities to reach across borders and work with communities and organizations from all corners of the planet in an effort to keep communities safer from wildfire. Stay tuned for continued information about our international outreach and collaboration with organizations in South Africa, Canada, and other countries.