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2016

popcorn.pngWhat is a “Firewise work day” and why do so many residents of communities across the United States enjoy participating in these activities?  A “work day” generally brings to mind images of doing unenjoyable tasks.  Firewise Communities that we spoke to, enjoy working together, cleaning up, helping neighbors and ultimately lessening their risk.  But what seems to make their “work days” work is that they make them fun.  Neighbors enjoy being together not only to reduce their risk to wildfire but also to enjoy each other’s company creating that sense of community that is missing in so many neighborhoods.  Read about how two Firewise communities work together to make a difference.

 

Wyldwood Community at Petersburg, Virginia

 

Wyldwood held a community work day on Firewise Day. Twenty-six people participated, working together for four hours cutting and removing debris. There were also other work days in 2014, adding an additional 43 hours.

 

Wyldwood Community tells us, “A few years ago, our community was rated “high risk” by Firewise and the Virginia Department of Forestry. Since then, the association’s members gather in increasing numbers on scheduled Firewise work days to clean, cut and gather debris, to reduce the risk of wildfires. So successful is that event that now even friends of residents assist us in this effort, bringing front end loaders and trucks to haul off materials.”

 

Horizons Village at Nellysford, Virginia

 

Horizons Village held a Firewise community meeting on Firewise Day. The meeting was attended by 32 members of the Horizons Village Homeowners Association. The program was presented by Boyd Ritchie, Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Specialist with Virginia Department of Forestry. The group discussed actions that homeowners can take to mitigate the risk of wildfire. Boyd also explained the Department of Forestry’s grants programs and efforts that need to be undertaken by the community. On October 5th, a work day was held and 10 residents cleared pine trees and underbrush from a portion of the neighborhood’s roadsides to increase the accessibility of the community.

 

Horizons Village says, “Living in a forest requires close and constant attention to our own activities and our impact on the natural beauty around us. Keeping ourselves and our surrounding safe is part of what we need to do to ensure that our community, and those surrounding us, remain as beautiful and natural as we found them.”

 

(Picture of the landscape surrounding Horizon's Village from their website)

According to the National Park Service website the Shenandoah National Park is located only 75 miles from Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital.  It is a beautiful public area in the Blue Ridge Mountains that is known for its hiking and camping opportunities and a variety of bird species.  According to a National Park Service incident update on April 21, the so-called Rocky Mountain wildfire has burned over 5,600 acres

Ovenbird
Picture of an ovenbird from the National Park Service website 

According to the incident report, the fire ignition source is suspected to be human but is currently being investigated.  The fire is burning in mountain laurel, pine, and oak forests with heavy leaf litter according to the report.  There are currently 248 personnel on the incident, including firefighters from the National Park Service, the Virginia Department of Forestry, Rockingham County Department of Virginia WildfireFire and Rescue, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Grottoes Volunteer Fire Department.  The fire has even caused the closure of parts of the Appalachian Mountain Trail.  For more information on hiking trail closures in the park, you can visit their website.  You can also find more information about this fire and other fires on the InciWeb website.

Wildfires have recently burned in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, and other states.  This is a reminder to us that wildfires can occur wherever you live and there is a lot you can do before a wildfire event to protect your loved ones and property. The change you make today can result in the difference in outcome tomorrow.  Learn what you can do today and follow through by making the changes. Firewise is a choice and lifestyle that creates resilience.

Two different communities in two separate states learn about the success of working together to create resilient Firewise neighborhoods.  Students at Virginia Tech and residents in Penn Forest Streams worked with partners to create successful Firewise Days.  It does not take a lot of money to build a Firewise Community.  Often times it is just plain old elbow grease over time that makes a difference.  Read about their stories.

Fortress at Blacksburg, Virginia

Students at Virginia Tech participate in a day of community service in memory of the students who were killed on campus in 2007. For Firewise Day, 10 Virginia Tech students assisted 6 Fortress residents in removing cut pine trees from the roadside and preparing them for chipping. Prior to this event, residents had cut the pines to reduce fuels and increase roadway access to

Blacksburg, Virginia
Location of Blacksburg in Virginia from Wikipedia

and from the community. Homeowners and contractors are working on creating 30 feet of defensible space around homes. The community will be installing standard 911 address signs as part of its Firewise mitigation goals.

The Fortress community tells us, “Firewise has been helpful to the community. We are a one-way community, That is, we only have one way in and one way out. Our biggest concern is roadways, signage, and improved emergency response.”

Penn Forest Streams at Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Penn Forest Streams holds an annual Firewise picnic, inviting the community and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry. This year they held their annual meeting and picnic on Firewise Day. Penn Forest Streams has been a Firewise community for 10 years, and they displayed their 10-year trophy at the meeting. The group recapped past Firewise events, and laid out plans for future events. The Penn Forest #1 Fire Company and truck were present at the picnic, which included a pig roast, games, and prizes.

Penn Forest Streams tells us, “We want to make sure homeowners know about Firewise. We like a Firewise Day because it is one of the things people pay attention to, and this is a fun way of pointing it out. One year we handed out smoke detectors and kids bags.”

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Image of the Valley Fire from the California Science Consortium Web Announcement


A Free webinar that is part of the WUI Module webinar schedule hosted in collaboration with the Joint Fire Science Program, the California Fire Science Consortium and CAL FIRE will provide insight into the 2015 Valley Fire.  The webinar is Thursday April 21st at 11 am Pacific Standard Time.  The incident commander Chief Green, will provide information about the fire that destroyed about 2,000 structures in CAL FIRE’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit and burnt 76,000 acres.

Chief Green will discuss a variety of topics about wildfire event including: the extreme fire behavior, tactical considerations, evacuating residents from the area, and lessons learned that could lessen the loss in the future to this type of wildfire. Register today to attend.

April MapFrom April through July, the National Interagency Fire Center shares some interesting wildfire outlook potential.  The most drastic and interesting outlook was the forecast for above normal fire potential from the southern plains region all the way up to Northern Minnesota.  There is also a significant risk during this month in the Appalachian Mountain region of Virginia and North Carolina.  They also predicted Fire concerns in Hawaii and Alaska, where fires are currently burning.

When I viewed these predictions, I thought about some Great materials shared with Firewise partners in the Midwest with our division. Sara Wood the NFIRS Program Manager with the Office of the State Fire Marshal in Kansas shared some great resources that they had that were relevant to the Midwest. They have a nice guide called, Stopping wildfires and protecting your property.  This guide refers to NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program as a go-to resource!

Some suggestions on their checklist were:Is dead vegetation cleared to the recommended defensible space area? (Consider adding distance due to the slope of the property)                                                                                                                                            

  1. Does your home have a metal, composition or tile roof with capped ends and covered fascia?               Beautiful land
  2. Are the rain gutters and roof free of leaves, needles and branches?
  3. Is there a clean and green area extending at least 30 feet from the house?
  4. Is there a non-combustible area within five feet of the house?
  5. Does the house have non-combustible siding?

Jeremy Keller a Firewise partner in Ohio who has been a structural and wildland firefighter, a certified forester and both a bachelor’s and masters degree in natural resources management shared in a Firewise virtual workshop how you can improve access for firefighters.  Another great virtual workshop from a Firewise partner in the Midwest was shared by Lieutenant Tim Weaver with the Rapid City, South Dakota, Fire Department about how you can ignite community action and build trust in wildfire preparedness.

Wherever you live, whatever you do, following simple and many times low-cost Firewise principles can help you, your loved ones and your community be safer in the event of a wildfire. Firewise has some great resources available at no cost to get you started!

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Just this week,

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced it is awarding $2 million to local California Fire Safe Councils

to reduce the increased risk of wildfires due to the massive tree mortality in Northern and Central California, according to Business Wire. The U.S. Forest Service has said that more than 29 million trees have died due to historic drought and bark beetle infestations. The $2 million from PG&E will be used to protect communities from wildfires in at least 18 high fire-risk California counties by clearing brush and dead, dying or diseased trees this fire season.

 

 

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This is the third consecutive year PG&E has partnered with local California Fire Safe Councils to fund "shovel-ready" projects. This season the projects include fuel reduction, shaded fuel breaks, emergency ingress and egress clearing, and wood-chipping programs in PG's service area.

 

 


PG&E Awards $2 Million in Wildfire Prevention Project Grants | Business Wire

 

PG&E is also telling its customers how they can help prevent property damage, power outages and wildfires by inspecting trees on their property. PG&E will remove dead, dying or diseased trees near high-voltage power lines for free. If you are a California resident living in the northern or central part of the state, learn more about PG&E's partnership with your local Fire Safe Council and how you can help reduce the risk of wildfire around your home and in your neighborhood.

 

Additional information about how to keep your yard healthy, green and Firewise, visit www.firewise.org and check out the

"home and landscaping" web page

for tips, videos and other resources you can use today, and share with family and friends.

CFSC.jpg
Just this week, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) announced it's awarding $2 million to local California Fire Safe Councils to reduce the increased risk of wildfires due to the massive tree mortality rate in Northern and Central California, according to Business Wire. The U.S. Forest Service says that more than 29 million trees have died due to historic drought and bark beetle infestations. The $2 million will be used to help protect communities from wildfires in at least 18 high-risk wildfire counties in California by clearing brush and dead, dying or diseased trees this wildfire season. PGE.jpg

This is the third consecutive year PG&E has partnered with local California Fire Safe Councils to fund "shovel-ready" projects. The projects this fire season include fuel reduction, shaded fuel breaks, emergency ingress and egress clearing, and wood-chipping programs in PG&E's service areas.

PG&E is telling its customers that they can help prevent property damage, power outages and wildfires by inspecting trees on their property. PG&E will remove dead, dying or diseased trees near high-voltage power lines for free. If you're a California resident living in the northern and central part of the state, learn more about the PG&E partnership with your local California Fire Safe Council and what you can do to help lower wildfire risks around your home and in your neighborhood.

Additional information about keeping your yard clean, green and Firewise, visit www.firewise.org and check out the "home and landscape" page for ideas, tips, videos and more that you can share with friends and neighbors.

6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08d94e24970d-250wi.jpgThe April issue of Fire Break, NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division newsletter, is now available for viewing. Here’s what you’ll find in this month’s issue:

  • Information about the 2016 wildfire season and the challenges residents are facing so early in the year
  • Four great ways to keep your yard green, healthy and Firewise this spring season
  • Information about FEMA’s America’s PrepareAthon! and tips, tools and resources to help you and your neighbors prepare for natural disasters (including wildfire!)
  • A look at the work South Africa is doing to reduce its wildfire risk through community-based programs

...and much more. We want to continue to share all of this great information with you, so don’t miss an issue! So subscribe today. It’s free! Just click here to add your e-mail address to our newsletter list.

Southern Fire ExchangeA free one hour webinar is being offered by the Southern Fire Exchange on Thursday, April 14th from 1-2 pm Eastern Standard Time.  The seminar will describe research about historical fire regimes since 1750 in southern Mississippi’s long-leaf pine forests.  The presenter Dr. Grant Harley from the University of Mississippi will share his research about the history of past land use and the influence of climate through the years.  He will also make land management recommendations for those interested in developing prescribed fire regimes in this ecosystem. Register to attend this free event.  One hour of Category 1 Society of American Foresters Continuing Education credit is approved for participation in this webinar.  For information about other free webinars available check out the Firewise website.

Chief Fire Warden Dave Celino State of MA Department of Conservation and Recreation Bureau of Forest Fire Control came to the NFPA to do a coffee time presentation.  He spoke about what his department is doing to reduce the risk of wildfire in the state using prescribed fire. He also shared about all of the partnerships developing with his organization including the NFPA. 

 

He shared about how some of their projects using prescribed fire have many useful purposes including creating healthier habitat for a variety of species including terns and butterflies, training for wildland response for firefighters and reducing fuel loads around communities.

 

Dave also serves as the state liaison for NFPA’s Firewise Community USA ® program in the state of Massachusetts.  He shared about the important contributions that Firewise communities make as partners in creating healthier habitats and more resilient communities through home hardening, landscape maintenance, and other projects.

Chinquapin Estates, a Firewise community in Lyndhurst, Virginia, has developed a unique program to assist their volunteer fire department.   The Virginia Department of Forestry has information on their website about how to install and maintain dry hydrants which are a great asset in rural settings. 

Dry Hydrant use
Using a dry Hydrant from the Virginia Department of Forestry website


You can also find information about how to properly install and maintain dry hydrants in NFPA’s Standard 1142 chapter 8. Read this community’s story about how they worked with their local volunteer fire department.

Chinquapin Estates at Lyndhurst, VA

Chinquapin has initiated an Adopt-a-Hydrant program. There are 19 fire hydrants in the community, and they asked property owners with a hydrant on or near their property to adopt the hydrant and keep tall grass, leaves and snow cleared from the hydrant. This will keep the hydrants visible and accessible at all times.

Chinquapin tells us, “All 19 property owners we asked have agreed to look after their hydrants throughout the year. This will save our local volunteer fire

Faith's Photo
a well maintained hydrant photo by Faith Berry

company valuable time should we have a fire in the community.”

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Construction workers pick up in the aftermath of the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs.

In June 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire tore through the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, killing an elderly couple and causing an estimated $454 million in insured losses. It remains one of the most destructive fires in U.S. history—now it is also one of the most-well understood.

A new NFPA Journal article, “House to House,” in the “In a Flash” section of the magazine, looks at a groundbreaking 227-page study on the fire conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

A NIST team spent almost a year in Mountain Shadows conducting about 250 interviews with witnesses and first responders. They cross-referenced those accounts with radio logs, time-stamped photographs, satellite images, and city records to meticulously piece together how the wildfire moved through time and space. In doing so, they tried to determine how factors such as topography, weather, building density, ignition vulnerabilities, and first responder actions affected the fire’s path.

Read more about what they learned, and how meticulous, in-depth wildfire investigations could change the way we think about fire behavior, in the all new NFPA Journal.

Also in this month’s “In a Flash”:

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Receive the print edition of NFPA Journal and browse online member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.

Two Firewise communities have benefited from the resources and information provided to them by the NFPA’s Firewise Communities USA®  Program.  The program materials have enabled them to understand what their risk is as well as what steps they can take to lessen their risk.   untitled.png

The information and resources are available to any community at no cost.  There are free online learning tools some of which offer certificates and materials that you can order for yourself and to share with your neighbors from our catalog.  Read about how these two communities worked together to become Firewise. You can too.

Coolfont Mountainside Association at Berkeley Springs, WV

On Firewise Day, Coolfont Mountainside Association held a meeting with presentations about how to protect homes from wildfire. Presentations were given by Richard Kaufman, the director of the local Firewise program, and John Anderson, of  West Virginia Division of Forestry. Written materials were distributed to residents.

Coolfont Mountainside Association tells us, “Our Firewise events have taught us that the dangers of woodland fires can be avoided or minimized by following the guidelines provided by the Firewise program, and that smoke inhalation presents the greatest hazard of a fire in one’s home. We need to constantly take measures to reduce the risk of a fire, and to be prepared to leave our home if one occurs in it.”

Portobago Bay at Port Royal, VA

Portobago Bay has several heavily wooded areas. They held an annual meeting and discussed the Firewise program on Firewise Day. There were 45 residents at the meeting, and they heard a report about neighborhood participation in Firewise fuel reduction efforts.

Portobago Bay shared with us, “The Firewise program has been a great asset to our community. First, Mrs. Gena Williams did an evaluation regarding fire risk, then she helped to implement our annual fuel reduction programs. This has kept our community safer and cleaner looking.”

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Demonstrate your commitment to wildfire preparedness by adding your May 7th Wildfire Community Preparedness Day activity to the nationwide event map.

It’s easy to do and takes only a couple of minutes to proudly display your community’s efforts. Come on...tell the world what you have planned and what you'll be accomplishing. Snag some bragging rights and get it posted today.

Adding your project to the nationwide map visually illustrates the magnitude of grassroots wildfire risk reduction, education and awareness projects happening in communities everywhere.

Join others throughout the nation making where they live a safer place on May 7. Check out the map and take a look at the great things occurring where you live!

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Picture from San Bernardino County Fire Twitter feed

A large fire that started in Arizona has spread across the Colorado River into California. It's being called the Topock Fire where it burns in Arizona, and the Pirate Fire in California. The wildfire is threatening popular boating areas located near Needles, California and has caused the closure of Highway 40. According to news reports , the fire began in the Lake Havasu Wildlife refuge, which spans both states, and has continued to burn across the Colorado River, fanned by gusting winds.

 

 

RV parks and popular boating resorts were evacuated due to the fire.  Some damage to a structure in a resort called the Pirate’s Cove occurred due to embers igniting the roofing material (reportedly made of straw).

 

 

According to the San Bernardino County Fire Twitter feed , requests for information from the media should be made to fire PIO Mike Reichling at the US Bureau of Land Management.

 

 

 

I called Mike to see what he had to say about being prepared for wildfire season.; He said, “The number one thing is to have your 72-hour kit ready for evacuation described on ready.gov .;and

Firewise

your property because of all the firebrands.

NM Summit
Whether you are a fire department or a Firewise Community, one key to being successful is creating and maintaining ongoing collaborative efforts.  Working together not only creates a wonderful synergy but fosters the growth and successful implementation of creative “out of the box” solutions to wildfire-related issues.  Many ideas and success stories were shared last week at the New Mexico 2016 Wildland Urban Interface Summit, the theme of which was “Re-energize Community Fire Response.”

While wildfires burned in New Mexico, state and community leaders were that much more motivated to share and learn about prevention and mitigation tools and tactics. Hank Blackwell, the keynote speaker and an instructor for NFPA’s Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone seminar, shared a concept he called, “Buy One Get One Free.” It focused on marrying your message of wildfire prevention with other messaging that proper home maintenance can provide, like pest reduction as well as more protection from crime because of the sense of community that being Firewise builds. 

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Hank Blackwell leading a tour at a home in Greater Wind Canyon Firewise Community picture submitted by Joy Esparsen

Various agencies and nonprofit organizations shared about effectively organized youth programs that not only completed great on the ground projects but also fostered the development of youth through both sound education and training opportunities, which enabled them to obtain employment in forestry and fire fields after participating in the programs.

Finally, we attended a field trip in the Greater Wind Canyon Firewise Community at a number of homes.  The tour showed the importance of the community working effectively with land management agencies, the state, US Forest Service and local fire departments to make changes to their structures and the landscape immediately surrounding the home.  One homeowner shared how they had little resources and no money available to them, so they started with work at the home itself then completed work concentrically working out slowly away from the home.  Over time the work they completed became a beautifully hardened home that also provided habitat for wildlife not seen before!

The summit was a great opportunity to meet people involved in wildfire prevention from all walks of life, such as politicians, fire fighters, researchers, social media experts, teachers and residents. It was a wonderful chance to learn about incredibly innovative efforts and creative ways to finance projects through partnerships.  For more information about the summit contact, Joy Esparsen with the New Mexico Association of Counties at jesparsen@nmexicocounties.org and for information about how your community can become Firewise visit the NFPA’s Firewise website.

Throughout April and May, FEMA is promoting their America’s PrepareAthon! campaign and highlighting hazard-specific weeks with tools and resources you can use to help prepare for these natural disasters.

With that in mind, it just makes sense that you mark FEMA's Wildfire Awareness Week (May 1 - 7) and draw a big red circle around Saturday, May 7, NFPA’s national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event (Prep Day) in your calendar. Why? Because if you live in one of the 72,000 high-risk wildfire communities in the U.S., this is the perfect week to join together with the hundreds of other residents who are also using this time to raise awareness, organize projects, educate friends and neighbors and focus on making their homes and neighborhoods safer places to live. Wildfire Mitigation Scene

Did you know that the PrepareAthon! and Prep Day naturally go hand in hand? Of course they do! Consider that whatever great projects you are planning (or will start working on) to prepare your home, neighborhood and community from wildfire during the PrepareAthon! campaign, you can carry forward and begin working on or continue to work on, on Prep Day. Not sure how to start? Visit the PrepareAthon page to find out where wildfire preparedness events are happening in your area, connect with other communities, or find customizable resources you can share. NFPA also has a great project ideas list that you can download easily and share with friends, neighbors and family, along with other great resources you’ll find helpful as you organize your activity.

Need more information? Don't forget that NFPA will be hosting a Prep Day Twitter Chat (#WildfirePrepDay) tomorrow, Wednesday, April 6 at 11 AM MT (1 PM EST) with special guests from State Farm, the FAC Learning Network, U.S. Fire Administration, America’s PrepareAthon! and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Get project ideas, learn about resources to help you promote your PrepareAthon and Prep Day projects, share accomplishments, and so much more.

Join us, won’t you? And use May 1 - 7 as a catalyst to get you up and moving,  thinking about and working on the many things you can do to help make your home and neighborhood safer from wildfire.

Get your typing fingers ready for the upcoming Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Twitter Chat on Wednesday, April 6 at 11am MDT, #WildfirePrepDay.

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Participate even if you’ll be a first-time Twitter user – it’s an easy and fun way to engage in an hour-long conversation with wildfire stakeholders about getting involved in PrepDay. The moderator posts questions and participants interact by providing a tweet about the topic.

The hour-long chat will focus on projects that can be coordinated for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 7.

Invited special guests include: America’s PrepareAthon!, State Farm, Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network, the U.S. Fire Administration and the Institute for Business & Home Safety.

Learn about projects and ideas that can help you plan for Wildfire Preparedness Day and America’s PrepareAthon. Participating in both the PrepareAthon and Prep Day will get you moving towards making your community a safer place to live.

On Saturday, April 30, FEMA is encouraging individuals and communities across the U.S. to take action to prepare for emergencies on National PrepareAthon!
Day
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Won’t you join us and others around the country to plan and practice your preparedness! There are several ways you can take action including:

Leading up to and directly after National PrepareAthon! Day, FEMA will be promoting hazard-specific weeks and provide tools and resources you can use to help prepare for these natural disasters. Check out the hazards and the assigned week below:

  • April 10 – 16:     Flood Awareness Week
  • April 17 – 23:     Tornado Awareness Week
  • April 24 – 30:     Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day
  • May 1 – 7:         Wildfire Awareness Week and lead up to NFPA’s national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (May 7)
  • May 15 – 21:     Hurricane Awareness Week
  • May 22 – 28:     Extreme Heat Week

Start organizing today and participate in April and May no matter what hazard you’re most at risk for in your area. Find out where preparedness events are happening in your area, connect with other communities, find customizable resources, and add your own activities to the PrepareAthon activity map to demonstrate how you are taking action to prepare.

Get all this and more at ready.gov/prepare.

Then stay tuned for more information from FEMA about Wildfire Awareness Week starting May 1 and NFPA’s Community Wildfire Preparedness Day on May 7! For those considering wildfire projects, you'll see just how easy it is to apply your PrepareAthon! project to the Prep Day event! Can't wait to hear what you have planned!

Last spring, NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division staff came up with what we thought would be a great way to use Fire Prevention & Safety Grant funding from DHS/FEMA to assist the fire service with wildland fire education. This spring, I’m happy to say that we are watching our vision take shape in the form of five classroom seminars featuring NFPA’s Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone curriculum. The first was held March 22 to 23 in Sacramento, California.

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NFPA has offered this seminar in a variety of forms over the past decade, with a major update to the curriculum last year. Although the seminar consistently received rave reviews, we were having difficulty attracting local firefighters. In rural areas and suburban regions with lots of wildfire exposure, wildland firefighting is not restricted to the federal and state agencies. Seminar content focuses on how homes ignite during wildfires and the important research that shows what can be done to minimize ignition potential. The big idea we convey in the class (spoiler alert!) is that we can avoid disastrous loss of structures in wildfires if homes don’t ignite. And to prevent home ignition, the homeowner must act. Often, homeowners don’t know there is anything they can do. And who do they trust more than anyone to advise them about fire safety? I’ll give you one guess.

So how could we get this information and knowledge to firefighters, who are the number one most trusted authority on fire safety? The FEMA grant made it possible for NFPA to fund not only the delivery of classroom sessions in 5 locations this spring, but most importantly to fund the travel and participation of local fire service members.

In Sacramento, instructor Pat Durland told us that he had a diverse, very engaged and knowledgeable group of participants. They ranged from vegetation management specialists to fire captains to battalion chiefs. Even with all their career knowledge and real-life field experience, only one quarter entered the class feeling their knowledge on the seminar topics was “very good” or “excellent.” But by the end of the seminar, 87% felt this way.

According to one captain/paramedic, “I thought I wanted to learn about structure triage. What I got was a new mindset concerning how to approach wildland fire (operational) and people (social).” Another fire captain commented, “I am better prepared to assess WUI properties and communicate hazards to community members.”

We’re all looking forward to the next four sessions coming up in Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Portland (OR) and Spokane. Learn more about the content of this powerful seminar and how to bring it to your organization at www.nfpa.org/hiz.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has announced that its theme for 2016 National Arson Awareness Week is : Prevent Wildfire Arson – Spread the Facts Not the Fire

USFA and its partners are using the week of May 1 – 7 to focus particular attention on wildfire arson in the wildland/urban interface (WUI). USFA's theme complements other wildfire campaigns during this same week including Wildfire Awareness Week (part of FEMA's America's PrepareAthon! week) and NFPA's Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 7..

Each year for National Arson Awareness Week, the USFA gathers and shares information to raise awareness or arson or youth firesetting and provides individuals with strategies to combat these problems in their community.This year's campaign offers a host of resources including (NAME)

USFA is partnering for the first time with the U.S. Forest Service, National Wildfire Coordination Group, National Association of State Foresters and the Department of the Interior's Office of Wildland Fire. USFA is also partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the International Association of Arson Investigators; National Volunteer Fire Council; NFPA, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, and the Insurance Committee for Arson Control.

For more information about National Arson Awareness Week and its Prevent Arson theme, please visit www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.

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