Failure to recognize risks means reliving wildfire history

Blog Post created by michelesteinberg Employee on Jul 29, 2015

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NFPA's campaign for 2015, which we're calling "The Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire," has elicited a few chuckles and smiles about our lighthearted tag for a serious problem. At the start of the year, we focused on showing how people can use our resources to plan for wildfire safety. NFPA and its partners in wildfire mitigation have a huge treasure trove of information in a wide variety of formats that can help residents, fire fighters, and local governments make homes and communities safer from fire.

We're now in the "Act" phase of our campaign. As I think about how we can encourage everyone who lives, works or plays in areas at risk to wildfire to act now for a safer future, it's made me reflect on how unfortunate it is that wildfire risks are so easy to overlook and forget about when we have other things on our minds and competing priorities. Even in places with a long, dangerous history of wildfire, like the Oakland Hills in California, generations of residents have dismissed historical disaster as a thing of the past, without understanding that where wildfire has been, wildfire will be again.

Check out our classic video, Fire in the Hills, for a riveting demonstration of what happens when we forget history. Often, and unfortunately, we are forced to repeat and relive the mistakes of the past. Reflect on what you can do now to prevent future wildfire disasters in your community.