I am pleased to share NFPA Wildfire Division Manager, Michele Steinberg's, update from Spain where a new Firewise partnership is reflecting the importance of fire resistant landscapes and resilient communities.
During the inaugural International Congress on Prescribed Fires, on February 1, in Barcelona, NFPA formalized an agreement with a Spanish non-profit that will serve to support a common mission of wildfire safety through information, knowledge, outreach and advocacy. The Pau Costa Foundation and the Wildfire Division of NFPA share a passion to advocate for profound change in how wildfire is perceived and managed, and to shift beliefs and behaviors from the concept of fire elimination and exclusion to a new vision of community wildfire resilience and the elimination of disastrous consequences to life and property.
The joint memorandum of understanding encourages the use of NFPA’s wildfire education and outreach programs, including Firewise®. As the informal custodian of Firewise program concepts in Spain, the Pau Costa Foundation will use its expertise and talent in knowledge transfer and information dissemination to help local entities to develop appropriate wildfire safety actions.
Pau Costa Foundation’s European-wide networking is anticipated to inspire the spread of Firewise concepts throughout Europe. Our agreement also encourages the sharing of lessons learned for transfer back to NFPA to enrich the U.S. context.
As I have observed through several days of participation at the International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and the International Congress on Prescribed Fire, the Pau Costa Foundation is serving a unique role in Europe and beyond. They are a valued convener and coordinator of information and knowledge about wildfire safety and fire management. While it is a young organization, formed in 2011, it has quickly earned respect and inspired enthusiasm for holistic approaches to wildfire throughout Europe and with partner organizations around the world.
It will be even more exciting to launch our mutual efforts through a workshop in Catalonia this weekend and to follow developments over the coming months and years.