On Saturday this week, the Aroostook band of Micmacs in Caribou, Maine hosted their Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, main event due to snow earlier in May this year. Jon Cote the Emergency Management Director, wrote their successful application for funding, helped organize the event and encouraged all members of their local community to be a part of this important effort. Everyone in the community had a part to play, whether it was pre-planning, helping with the lunch, paperwork, or doing the clean-up work itself. All shared that they were happy to have a role to play in this important community effort.
The youngest participant was 4 and the oldest in their 80’s. They all worked hard together with agents from their local State Farm office, Job Corps, Red Cross office and rangers from the State of Maine Forest Service. They removed a lot of dead fall, (trees and branches that blew down during winter storms), which along with the accumulation of trash in the wooded area surrounding the building contributed to risk of loss in the event of a wildfire.
After a morning’s work, the area surrounding the building looked much better. They were encouraged by the amount of work accomplished in one day. Their efforts were featured on a local television station to encourage others in the town to make a difference in their own personal safety, by taking simple steps to reduce their risk of loss during a wildfire.
They celebrated their success with a lunch, demonstration of wildland firefighting gear, and a helicopter water drop. Smokey Bear even stopped by to thank the children who helped.. But most importantly this is just the beginning of their preparedness efforts. Their success has generated an interest in sustaining their preparedness efforts. Jon Cote shared, “this is the first time we were selected for the program, but hope the event continues for years to come.” What is your Wildfire Community Preparedness Day success story?
All photos taken by Faith Berry NFPA