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Getting the word out: five ways to spark interest in wildfire safety events

Blog Post created by faithberry Employee on Aug 20, 2019

Looking for ways to engage people in wildfire risk discussions and projects? Learn about five unique solutions developed by communities around the country to help get public participation in wildfire risk reduction activities.   

1. TOWN HALL MEETING: Sun City, Texas, an active Firewise USA site, hosts an annual “Town Hall Meeting” to help residents learn what their risks are, ask professionals questions about wildfire preparedness as well as plan next steps.  The meetings encourage participation by many residents to make improvements within their Home Ignition Zones, both to their homes and the landscape surrounding the homes.

Fourmile Watershed youth project

2. MULTIPLE AGENCY CHANNELS: In the Fourmile Watershed community in Colorado, a partnership with the Colorado State Forest Service, Aloterra Restoration Services and One Tree Planted helped get many students involved in a wildfire restoration project. (Some of the participating students and families pictured above).

3. ELECTRONIC ROAD SIGN MESSAGES AND INSERTS IN WATER BILLS:  In Utah, residents of Stockton and South Rim were informed about how they could participate in wildfire preparedness activities through social media, electronic road signs and flyers sent out in their water bills.  According to the UFRA Straight Tip newsletter attached below,  250 people attended and logged 172 hours to complete defensible space projects for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day.

Dublin Fire Department wildfire safety workshop4. WORKSHOPS: In Virginia, a collaborative effort by the Virginia Department of Forestry, Pulaski County Emergency Management, Virginia Tech Fire Ecology Department, New River Valley/ Highlands RC&D, and the Dublin Fire Department, enabled information to be shared with 10 different communities at area workshops (pictured, left). The workshops resulted in fuels reduction projects being accomplished around neighborhood homes.

5. BUSINESS PANEL DISCUSSION: In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day project included a Business Panel Discussion at the Santa Fe Business Incubator. They had a small but diverse audience of first responders, arborists, economic development and nonprofit analysts discussing the potential for a wildfire to cause devastating financial impact, and how business owners could be a part of the solution.  

Read more details below about these innovative and effective approaches that you can consider for reaching local audiences to engage in wildfire safety projects.

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