I saw this blog, Ear to the Ground, from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, come across my email recently and I thought, hmmm, this is a great reminder for us all that May is Wildfire Awareness Month for a handful of states in the West. As the authors plainly state at the top of their post, it is time for all residents to take responsibility for our families and our homes and property! They go on to say that every year catastrophic wildfires threaten Washington and many other states across the country. So the big question is ...
Is your community prepared for wildfire?
Below is the post from Ear to the Ground ...
This year, six governors from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and California have joined together to announce May as Wildfire Awareness Month. It’s an important month to learn more about collaboration in local communities to become better prepared for wildfire.
As more and more people live in and around forests, grasslands, shrub lands, and other natural areas – places referred to as the wildland-urban interface (WUI) – the fire-related challenges of managing wildlands are on the increase.
The WUI is commonly described as the zone where development meets and intermingles with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels. This WUI zone poses tremendous risks to life, property, and infrastructure in associated communities and is one of the most dangerous and complicated situations firefighters face.
We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other from the risk of wildfire. To save lives and property from wildfire, the Firewise Communities® Program (www.firewise.org) teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action to prevent losses.
In order for a community to take full advantage of this new opportunity, it must first prepare a Wildfire Community Protection Plan (WCPP). Local wildfire protection plans can take a variety of forms, based on the needs of the people involved in their planning and development. Community Wildfire Protection Plans may address issues such as wildfire response, hazard mitigation, community preparedness, or structure protection—or all of the above.
Did you know that one out of three homes nationwide is in wildfire country?
You can find more resources and tips on how to prepare for wildfire at DNR's wildfire prevention website.
Thanks to "Ear to the Ground" for reminding us of this important information. Additional resources can also be found on on NFPA's wildfire division webpage. Check out both today!