Benefits of rural Firewise Communities

Blog Post created by luciandeaton Employee on Aug 21, 2015

Firewise helps neighbors talk to neighbors about community wildfire threats.  But, what if your neighbor is far away and your “community” is remote?
Firewise Photo Library Wildfire19 image pulled 21Aug15
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging rural homeowners to be Firewise and the benefits are clear.

Multiple local news outlets have reported in the state that, “As more homes are built in the woods and fields of Minnesota, existing firefighting resources are less able to protect everyone’s property while trying to control a wildfire.”  The answer provided is DNR’s Firewise program and its focus on access, site, structure, and burning practices to help home survivability.

I had the opportunity earlier this week to talk with Linda Gormanson, Wildfire Prevention Supervisor and Firewise State Liaison with Minnesota DNR, about their outreach to rural communities and how Firewise recognition can be a valued tool.

Firewise Photo Library Community Workshop Image pulled 2July15 ComWorkshops10She shared that, “We connect with homeowners via rural fire departments, vendor shows, forestry field days, and community and home association meetings.  With hands-on demonstrations working in the critical home defensible zone, we can better explain the principles of Firewise.”

The Firewise program recognizes many rural and seasonal communities, even some in unincorporated areas.  You don’t need to be a traditional planned-development HOA to be Firewise. 

In October, 2014, Firewise hosted a virtual workshop on "Improving Access for Wildland Firefighters," which focused on rural community preparedness and successes, in Ohio.  Its worth watching. 

If wildfire threatens, Firewise and the larger Fire Adapted Communities concept can be the tools that bring your neighbors together for successful community preparedness, especially in rural areas. 

Photo Credit: The Firewise Photo Library