Final preparations for this Saturday’s inaugural nationwide Wildfire Community Preparedness Day are taking place in neighborhoods, towns and counties everywhere. Here's just a sampling of three that demonstrate the diversity, energy, empowerment and grassroots efforts occurring May 3:
- The Quincy High School S Club in northeastern California will be helping elderly residents prepare their properties for wildfires. Steven Ross is organizing the teens and says, “We have already had several small fires around Plumas County. Community wildfire preparedness day will have young members of our community involved in helping seniors and at the same time providing a safer environment for firefighters to work, if a wildfire were to happen.”
- In the picturesque City of Durango in southwestern Colorado, a fuels-reduction project will take place in a city open space area through a collaborative partnership that includes the city, La Plata County, Fire Smart (a Wildfire Mitigation Professionals Association) and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. A hands-on demonstration will show how to effectively reduce hazardous fuels and provide an opportunity for volunteers to participate in the project. Mitigation contractors will demonstrate how-to limb a tree, stack a slash pile and provide safety information for using a chipper.
- The Austin Texas Fire Department in partnership with the Joint Wildfire Task Force is planning a five-hour event at the Big Tex Auditorium that will connect residents with subject matter experts for a series of interactive workshops and opportunities to help local residents in their fight against wildfire.
It’s not too late to plan a project for Saturday - activities can be done at an individual home, in a neighborhood, or throughout a community. A list of easily accomplishable project ideas can be found on the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day site and don't forget to add your activity to the “Put Your Project on the Map” feature to help visually demonstrate the efforts being done nationwide to make communities better prepared for a future wildfire, or reduce impacts from a recent fire. Share your project photos at facebook.com/firewise and use the hashtag #WildfirePrepDay to encourage others and to highlight accomplishments.