The latest fire in California, the Morgan Fire, has forced the evacuation of 100 homes in the Clayton community near San Francisco and to date, has doubled in size. The fire is yet another reminder that 2013 has been a terrible fire season in which watersheds and natural resources have been damaged, residents have lost homes and firefighters have been injured or have lost their lives in the line of duty.
As fire intensity and damage has exponentially increased in the last decade, many communities and neighborhoods have come together to work on ways to reduce their wildfire risk. How do they do this? Many first complete an assessment of their community’s strengths and weaknesses and its vulnerability and ability to withstand fire using Firewise principals. Armed with this information, residents then have taken the action steps needed to create Firewise neighborhoods, which they say have made a big difference in the outcome during a wildfire event. According to our records, there are a number of documented saves that we can point to that illustrate successful mitigation and prove that when communities come together, they can make a difference. Just ask us how ... we're happy to share! And don't forget to take a look at our Firewise success stories page on our website for additional community examples all across the U.S.
Want to get started? If you would like to help organize a neighborhood event around wildfire mitigation but are unsure how to engage your fellow neighbors, try our interactive Firewise map to check out your closet neighboring Firewise Community. By talking to residents who have been through the process you can share lessons learned and the many simple changes they have done to create a safer home environment. To further help you along in your conversation, we have some great information, tips and templates you can use including talking points, the benefits to being Firewise and how to calculate this important Firewise investment.
For additional resources, check out the Firewise website and contact your regional advisor. Your advisor is a great resource and he/she can also help you get in touch with your Firewise state liaison who can help you along the way. With all of you working together, you'll be able to accomplish great things including developing a community that not only is Firewise but one that is more fire adapted.
Getting to know your neighbors can ultimately help you better protect what is important to us all! What are you waiting for? Get started today and don't forget to share your own success stories with us. We'd love to hear from you!