Residents across the nation have been busy in 2019 taking steps to increase the ignition resistance of homes and communities from wildfire. Here at NFPA we've seen increased interest in the Firewise USA program as neighbors connect with each other to reduce their shared risk. With over 1,500 sites in the program, we'd like to take a moment to recognize two states that recently reached milestones in participation.
"Texas Celebrates 100 Firewise USA Sites Across the State." Our hats off to the Lone Star State and its residents that have made the commitment to protecting their homes through good fire safety in the home ignition zone. Since 2003, the Texas A&M Forest Service has partnered with NFPA in the effort to educate communities and encourage action on the ground. Wildland fire staff from federal, state, and local agencies work together to provide mitigation information tailored to specific areas and help build cooperative networks to support efforts on the ground. Check out their video celebrating 100!
The movement continues in California, where they have surpassed 200 active sites. Residents are taking notice of the last few fire seasons and making the commitment to own their risk and take action. Between 2018 and so far in 2019, 86 communities have joined the program, and almost all existing participants renewed in the last cycle. Marin and Nevada Counties are leading the way, with new interest from Contra Costa and Tuolumne Counties.
Knowing the risk that communities face throughout the state, it makes my heart soar to see so many people realize there are things they can do around their home to make a difference. A big thank you to CAL FIRE and the network of partners they have built to help the residents of California be more resilient in the face of wildfires.
What will it take for you and your neighbors to take action? Visit Firewise.org more to learn more about how to organize your community and steps towards increasing your chances of withstanding a wildfire.
Photo credits: Top left - Texas A&M Forest Service; bottom right - Julian, CA Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, courtesy of Diane Hake.