The work of over 1,500 communities in the United States to reduce their risk from wildfire not only encourages others to embrace their responsibility here, but globally as well. They serve as a great example of what residents can do and we’re very excited to see that latest work in the United Kingdom advancing this mutual public safety effort further.
In late June, residents, county council leaders, the local fire authority, and land management organizations launched a Firewise effort in the south of England that will help protect homes. The event also recognized the residents from Beacon Road in Corfe Mullen, which has become the first Firewise Community in Dorset. These residents hosted a very successful Wildfire Preparedness Day in May.
The kickoff event, highlighted by the local Dorset Echo newspaper, heard remarks from the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service fire chief, Dorset County Council chief executive, and the program manager.
Reflecting upon the event, the program manager, Lin Kettley, shared with me that, "With the launch of Firewise in Dorset, we are looking to have more groups joining us over the coming months. Our first group is already planning next years activities and will be there to offer advice and support to any new groups who may need it."
The need for local action could not be more clear. Lin explained that, "To date, this year in the UK we have had more wildfires than in the whole of 2018 so Firewise is the ideal opportunity for communities who live near our heaths, forests and open land, to come together and start to take the small, inexpensive steps to make their homes more resilient to the risk from wildfires and become part of the international Firewise community."
NFPA applauds this collaborative local work on developing a more informed public and looks forward to its continued success.
Photo Credit: Lucian Deaton, February 2018.