Last October, a number of newspapers reported on the loss of a tanker plane that crashed while dropping retardant on the Dog Rock Fire in Yosemite National Park, killing its pilot. This type of media coverage illustrates the significant risks faced by responders, says Lucian Deaton, manager of the Firewise Communities and Fire Adapted Communities programs for NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division.
“Wildfire will always be with us, which is why it’s critically important to do what we can to minimize the risks for those who fight those fires, whether they’re flying above the flames or cutting fire breaks on the ground,” he says.
To help community residents understand their risks and encourage them to take an active role in mitigating them, Firewise recently held a virtual workshop that highlighted community hazards as seen through the eyes of responding firefighters. The presenter, Jeremy Keller of the Macochee Joint Ambulance District in West Liberty, Ohio, highlighted the importance of road access, signage visibility, gate access, and other factors that might hamper responders’ efforts to fight a wildland fire.
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