Posted by LisaMarie Sinatra on 05/04/2015 at 10:53 AM in California, Community Action, Current Affairs, Fire Adapted Communities, Firewise, Homeowner Association, Mitigation, Nevada, News, NFPA, Oregon, Social Media, Success Stories, Utah, Wildfire Hazards, wildland firefighter, Wildland Urban Interface, Year of Living Less Dangerously | Permalink | Comments (2)
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On March 22-23, 2015, more than 35 wildfire safety professionals will participate in NFPA's newly revised Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone seminar at a pre-conference session at the IAFC WUI Conference in Reno, Nevada. What's learned in this classroom will go a long way toward helping people in high risk areas live less dangerously from wildfire.
The seminar was developed to help increase an understanding and competency in wildland/urban interface fire mitigation for wildfire mitigation professionals, focusing on assessing risks to individual homes in wildland, forested, or grassland areas. By enabling trusted experts such as fire fighters and forestry specialists to confidently assess the ignition potential of homes, they will be instrumental in encouraging residents to take corrective mitigation measures to prevent wildfire disasters.
The newly revised seminar comes with the opportunity for students to take an exam to earn a Certificate of Educational Achievement from NFPA. Being able to show that their training has helped them meet critical learning objectives about wildfire and home ignition potential is one way to build credibility within the wildfire industry, the fire service, and among the public about the value of wildfire mitigation action.
Living less dangerously from wildfire, for some, may simply be a matter of learning what can be done, easily and inexpensively, around the home to minimize ignition potential. If a home doesn't ignite, it can't burn. Using fire science research, including captivating footage of ember experiments thanks to the IBHS Research Center, this training will help spread accurate, actionable information about preventing wildfire disasters to the people who live with the risk.
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The areas of concern of the new Secretarial Order issued by the Department of the Interior are in the Great Basin Region of Idaho, Utah, Nevada and California. The plan outlines a new strategy to protect sagebrush lands and the species that inhabit them such as the sage grouse from rangeland fires. According to the US Department of Interior’s press release dated January 6, 2015; “Goals include reducing the size, severity and cost of rangeland fires, addressing the spread of cheatgrass and other invasive species, and positioning wildland fire management resources for more effective rangeland fire response.” Secretary Jewell stated; “The Secretarial Order further demonstrates our strong commitment to work with our federal, state, tribal and community partners to reduce the likelihood and severity of rangeland fire, stem the spread of invasive species, and restore the health and resilience of sagebrush ecosystems.”
The order establishes a Rangeland Task Force of 6 headed by the Deputy Secretary Mike Connor. This task force will work with other federal agencies, states, tribes, local entities and non-governmental groups on fire management and habitat restoration activities and improve coordination with all affected partners.
At the December 6, 2014, Western Governors’ Association winter meeting, Jewell directed her Department’s leadership to develop a comprehensive strategy to fight rangeland fire with an eye toward protecting rural communities, sagebrush landscapes and habitats essential to the conservation of the sage-grouse and other wildlife. Secretary Jewell also stated, “To protect these landscapes for economic activity and wildlife like the greater sage-grouse, we need a three-pronged approach that includes strong federal land management plans, strong state plans, and an effective plan to address the threat of rangeland fire.”
How are you planning to make your community safer in the event of a wildfire event? It takes many hands working collaboratively together to create an effective fire prevention plan as we all work toward a “Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire!”
The picture above of a rangeland fire is from the CAL FIRE website.
Posted by Faith Berry on 01/21/2015 at 08:59 AM in California, Communications, Current Affairs, Environment, Firewise, Mitigation, Nevada, News, regulatory tools, Wildfire Hazards, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (2)
Technorati Tags: a year of living less dangerously from wildfire, CAL FIRE, environment, firefighting, Idaho, range land fires, rangeland fire, sage grouse, Secretary Jewell, US Department of the Interior, Utah, wildfire, Wildfire mitigation startegies
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California and Nevada Firesafe Councils and Firewise Communities who are planning on a “Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire” may apply on line for grant funding through the California Fire Safe Council. According to an announcement from them:
“California Fire Safe Council (CFSC) is pleased to announce the opening of its competitive application process for 2015 wildfire prevention grants. Funding is provided through a master grant to CFSC by the US Forest Service to administer the Grants Clearinghouse program, with CFSC issuing subawards to eligible entities in California and parts of Nevada for the following areas of wildfire prevention:
There is approximately 3 million dollars available for 50/50 cost-share projects in the 2015 program.
Applications are now being accepted until the deadline of February 19, 2015 at 5 p.m. PST online.”
If you are a resident of California or Nevada and are interested in applying for grant funding go to the California Firesafe Council’s website to learn more about the grant application process. Let’s all plan on a “Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire.”
The banner is from the California Fire Safe Council's website
Posted by Faith Berry on 01/13/2015 at 08:00 AM in California, Community Action, Education, Environment, Evacuation Planning, Firewise, Funding, Mitigation, Nevada, Wildfire Hazards, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
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If you are one of the many wildland fire professionals responsible for protecting local forests, educating community residents, and managing operations, suppression and risk management activities, then you won't want to miss the 2015 International Association of Fire Chief’s (IAFC) Wildland-Urban Interface conference (WUI Conference).
The WUI Conference, held March 24-26 in Reno, Nevada, offers hands-on training and interactive sessions that will address the challenges of wildland fire and provide the latest information about advancements in the field.
Sessions and workshops are divided into three tracks:
The WUI Conference’s comprehensive program also offers attendees the opportunity to attend NWCG courses and obtain Continuing Forestry Education credits.
For more information and to register, visit IAFC’s WUI 2015 web page today.
Posted by LisaMarie Sinatra on 01/09/2015 at 09:29 AM in Conferences, Current Affairs, Education, Fire Adapted Communities, Firewise, Mitigation, Nevada, News, Training, Wildfire Hazards, wildland firefighter, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
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It is always sad as the holidays come to a close to have to dispose of the tree that was once so brightly decorated. Many trees end up in the yard or elsewhere which can create potential fire hazards, especially when they are tossed out in parks or wilderness areas. According to Susan McKelvey in the NFPA TODAY blog post, "Dispose of your Christmas Tree promptly, nearly 40 percent of Christmas Tree home fires occur in January," it is important to remove the tree soon.
According to an article in the Reno Gazette Journal, which was also featured in USA Today,“Goats will help you recycle your Christmas tree” ! The article described one community in Washoe Valley that has come up with a unique solution spearheaded by Vince Thomas, a volunteer firefighter with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. His main concern with these unwanted trees was that they seemed to be dumped quite frequently in natural areas. According to the article, he said, “I’ve seen them everywhere; all you have to do is get off the beaten path a ways, and you’ll see trees all over. It was amazing to me to see how many Christmas trees people would toss out there.”
Thomas and his 40 goats created an alternative solution to this local problem. They have created a Christmas tree disposal program which features the voracious appetite of these hungry little goats. The trees are taken to the Truckee Meadows fire station which has a lot more space for the goats to work their magic. They give the goats the trees to eat as long as there is no residual tinsel, ornaments or other items and the goats make quick work of eating the pine needles and leaving only the skeleton of the tree which is easier to dispose of.
Goats eating pine needles is a little unusual but Thomas said, “I did a lot of research on that, and its ok for the goats……for goats, it’s a natural dewormer, and pine is very high in vitamin C so it is healthy for them. This is a great “out of the box”, solution to a seasonal fire hazard. For more sucess stories about how communities have creatively mitigated the wildfire threat in their communities, visit the Firewise Communities/USA® website.
The top image is from Fox News. The lower picture of the goats eating the tree is from Marcella Corona with the Reno Gazette Journal.
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Early detection and aggressive initial attack helps keep wildland fires small, less dangerous, and less costly. “Safe, aggressive, initial attack” is one of the guiding principles of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. Over the years, we have searched for smoke with fire lookouts in towers, vehicle patrols and aircraft. But newer technology is now being applied to wildland fires.
Scientists in Nevada are developing and expanding an earthquake detection system using cameras that can also detect wildland fires around Lake Tahoe, California. With three cameras in place and a fourth to be added soon, the system uses wireless, digital, microwave communication technology.
The plan is to expand the program to 15 stations, which can also obtain weather data. The total cost of the program is expected to be about $2 million.
And, the system has already been successful. In August, 2014, the Spooner Fire, on the east shore of Lake Tahoe was detected using this technology and it was contained to a half acre.
North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown said, “What they have to offer is awesome when it comes to early detection.”
photo credit: Missouri Dept. of Conservation (firetower) and uniquelynv.com (lake tahoe)
Posted by Tom Welle on 12/15/2014 at 07:00 AM in California, Fire Adapted Communities, Firewise, Nevada, NFPA, Weather and Predictive Services, Wildfire Hazards, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
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As Fire Prevention Week continues, so do our FAC case studies. But first, I'd like to quickly share this year's Fire Prevention Week theme:
We all know smoke alarms save lives. 96% of US households have at least one smoke alarm, but they have become so common place that many people forget they are even there. One-quarter of the nearly 3,000 people who died in a home fire last year had a smoke alarm but it did not sound or it was nonfunctional. With that in mind, this year's theme is a valuable reminder that only working smoke alarms can save your life.
Today's case study highlights the hard work the Four Forest Restoration Initiative and other stakeholders have done to create sustainable ecosystems by restoring forests to their natural and healthy state. In the process, they have also managed to create a sustainable wood products industry and increase jobs throughout the region. Check out the Guide to Fire Adapted Communities for more case studies on communities taking action to reduce their wildfire risk.
Case Study: Accomplishing Creative Forest Restoration
Four national forests in Arizona—Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves, and Tonto—are actively engaged in the collaborative, landscape scale Four Forest Restoration Initiative. Together with a diverse group of stakeholders, the four forests are working to restore ponderosa pine forests, providing for fuels reduction, forest health, and biodiversity, while creating sustainable wood products industries and jobs in the region. Through innovative use of GPS technology, managers are carrying out 40 different prescriptions for forest thinning that are specifically tailored to ecosystems and wildlife habitats in each area as demonstrated by the before and after photographs.
Visit the Forest Service website to find out more about the Four Forest Restoration Initiative.
One of my NFPA colleagues this morning pointed out this interesting article from CBS/San Francisco Bay Area news. It states that on this, the one-year anniversary of a fire that has burned across forest land in and around Yosemite National Park, there is what ecologists, researchers and fire experts call, a “barren moonscape” in the Sierra Nevada mountains (that is) larger than any burned in centuries.
The Yosemite Rim Fire has burned more than 400 square miles, and 60 square miles of it has burned so intensely that it has actually killed a number of trees and other vegetation. Some ecologists have referred to this piece of land as “dead,” and as hard as this is to believe, the future existence and growth of particular types of wildlife and plants is uncertain.
What's causing this problem? According to the article, the increased growth of dead and downed trees and vegetation, a warming climate, drought and our current suppression practices, have all led to a greater intensity of wildfires to date.
Take a look at the article, and let us know what you think. If you live in the area, what have you seen happening over the the last year? What are your thoughts on the state of wildfires in the west? Share you story with us on Facebook or start a conversation on NFPA's wildfire LinkedIn subgroup page. We're always happy to hear from you.
Posted by LisaMarie Sinatra on 08/04/2014 at 12:47 PM in California, Current Affairs, Education, Environment, Fire Adapted Communities, Firewise, Mitigation, Nevada, News, NFPA, Science, Social Media, Weather and Predictive Services, Wildfire Hazards, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Some interesting charts caught my eye while perusing a recent issue of the Denver Post newspaper and I wanted to share them with you. The article they were from was: Colorado leads country for share of homes most vulnerable to wildfires with content from the 2013 Wildfire Hazard Risk Report – Residential Wildfire Exposure Estimates for the Western U.S., developed by CoreLogic®, a real estate analytics company.
The report looks at residential properties potentially exposed to wildfire risk in 13 western states and evaluates them using four risk levels (low, moderate, high and very high), along with the estimated value of at risk single-family residences. It also includes a summary of properties at risk and their home values by individual state, with a look at risk and damage potential in seven metropolitan areas.
According to the report, more than 200,000 homes in Colorado are highly vulnerable to wildfires; which represents more than 10% of homes in the state (the highest ratio in any state). Those homes with a high-risk have an estimated value of more than $38 billion. The next most exposed states are Montana at 9.1% and Oregon at 8%. But in dollar terms, Texas and California have the most property vulnerable to wildfire.
Both the Denver Post article and the CoreLogic report have some great data, trends and projections that describe the scope of the wildfire landscape in the west.
Posted by Cathy Prudhomme on 08/01/2014 at 05:37 PM in Arizona, California, Colorado, Education, Fire Adapted Communities, Firewise, Montana, Nevada, News, Reports, Texas, Wildfire Hazards, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
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