From 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)
- Does your home have a metal, composition or tile roof with capped ends and covered fascia?
- Are the rain gutters and roof free of leaves, needles and branches?
- Is there a clean and green area extending at least 30 feet from the house?
- Is there a non-combustible area within five feet of the house?
- 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!