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 (0)
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In a Presidential message posted this morning, President Obama sends greetings to Wildfire Community Preparedness Day participants throughout the nation and emphasizes the role we each play in preparing for fires and minimizing community risks. He asks for continued awareness raising about the causes of wildfires and doing all we can to safeguard our future. Read the full message.
Here at NFPA, we look forward to hearing about the hundreds of PrepDay projects taking place today and sharing them with you in the coming days. Each project being implemented makes residents, communities and firefighters safer from future wildfires.
Posted by Cathy Prudhomme on 05/02/2015 at 10:26 AM in Education, Evacuation Planning, Fire Adapted Communities, Firewise, Mitigation, Wildfire Hazards, wildland firefighter, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Earlier this week, a suspected arson-caused wildfire burned nearly 1000 acres in the woods near the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in north-central Ukraine. Entire villages, abandoned after the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown disaster, were consumed in this week’s wildfire.
While the woods or open space behind your home are probably safe from dormant radioactive fallout and disaster exclusion zones, it’s important to remember that fires can threaten the natural areas on your property and cast embers if overgrown. Jack D. Cohen, Research Physical Scientist at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, does a very good job explaining these “fire brands” and their risks to homes.
You can also learn easy steps you can take in the space 100+ feet from your home. NFPA calls this “Zone 3” of the Home Ignition Zone and offers guidance.
This is NOT clear cutting, but keeping this area "park-like" with trees limbed up to protect them from ground fires and ensuring healthy natural spacing between trees to protect them from crown fires.
And, if there is another home within 100+ feet our your home, its a good reason to talk to you neighbor about being Firewise!
Photo credit: BBC.com/news 28 April 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32502393
Posted by Lucian Deaton on 04/30/2015 at 05:56 PM in Environment, Firewise, Firewise Plants, Mitigation, Science, Wildfire Hazards, wildland firefighter, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
Technorati Tags: Cohen, crown fires, embers, fire brands, Firewise, Firewise Communities, ground fires, Home Ignition Zone, Jack D, mitigation, Wild land fire, wildfires, Wildland urban interface, WUI
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Just five more days until Wildfire Community Preparedness Day begins and grassroots projects to reduce wildfire risk happen throughout the U.S. and Canada. The campaign’s Put Your Project on the map feature reflects 115 projects that have been planned to help make community’s a safer place to live and be better prepared in the event of a wildfire; the map is a great way to demonstrate actions, so add yours today and get bragging rights for all you're doing.
If you think it’s too late to get involved, think again! There are project ideas for individuals, families, or entire neighborhoods and they come in all shapes, sizes and time commitments too; there’s even some that don’t require leaving your home. So there’s no excuse for not getting involved.
Change your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profile photos; use the prewritten social media posts to share important safety and preparedness tips and tell everyone you know how they can accomplish something great too!
Posted by Cathy Prudhomme on 04/27/2015 at 07:23 PM in Community Action, Education, Evacuation Planning, Fire Adapted Communities, Firewise, Mitigation, Wildfire Hazards, wildland firefighter, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Earlier this week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency due to wildfire risks posed by persistent drought in the state. His executive order activated National Guard assistance to the state’s emergency management and natural resources agencies.
Rains this week are lessening the fire danger in Wisconsin but NOAA’s seasonal drought outlook illustrates the persistent risk posed by dry conditions and wildfire in the Southwest, Pacific West, and Mid-West through this July.
In such risk warnings, Firewise principles around the Home Ignition Zone can help you be more prepared.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jolene Ackerman, Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator and Firewise Liaisons with Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources and she shared advice relevant for residents in Wisconsin and beyond.
Jolene explained that, “Elevated fire danger and drought conditions can cause the smallest spark, ember, or flame to quickly turn into an uncontrolled wildfire.”
She went on to importantly share that, “People are asked to be cautious with anything that can start a fire. We are especially concerned about people burning leaves and brush piles and ask that they put off this type of burning until the fire danger subsides.”
In drought conditions, make sure to talk with your neighbors about simple preparedness steps and take responsibility for your safety.
Posted by Lucian Deaton on 04/22/2015 at 11:52 AM in Environment, Firewise, Mitigation, Weather and Predictive Services, Wildfire Hazards, wildland firefighter, Wildland Urban Interface, Year of Living Less Dangerously | Permalink | Comments (0)
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“It’s not hard to find any of us being seemingly annoyed that the NFPA doesn’t listen to what FIREFIGHTERS have to say. Actually, they do – and more than ever – especially since input via the internet makes it easy for NFPA committees to truly represent what FIREFIGHTERS need… not just the few at the table.”
That’s from a blog posted on last week's FirefighterCloseCalls.com, home of The Secret List. The post came at just the right time, as NFPA launches a new campaign, “Standards in Action: Your Voice Matters,” in an effort to increase fire service participation in our standards-making process.
“Standards in Action: Your Voice Matters” features quick, easy and free online access to public input and comments on NFPA standards. We’ll also be more consistently reaching out to the fire service to make sure they’re aware of opportunities to participate in our standards as they arise. In addition, we’re encouraging firefighters to get involved in NFPA standards in other ways, such as participating in committee meetings.
If you’re a firefighter, let us know what’s working for you within NFPA’s standards and what isn’t - visit our Standards in Action page to get started. Your voice matters, and we want to hear it! (A special thanks to Chief Billy Goldfeder with The Secret List for pointing that out.)
Small burning embers carried by winds from a wildfire can put your roof and areas surrounding your home at risk.
A burning cannonball, fired from the reportedly world’s largest working siege machine, landed sparks on the roof and destroyed a boathouse at the medieval Warwick Castle in central England on April 10.
While your home will probably be safe from flaming cannonball trebuchet demonstrations gone horribly wrong, it’s important to remember that wildfires in dry conditions and strong wind can put you at risk if you’re not prepared.
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) researches the risk of burning embers on roofs, eaves, vents, guttering, decks, and the area around a property. This area can include plants around the home, mulch, stored firewood, and belongings. You can see the impact of embers in this research test video on a full-sized home.
NFPA calls this area the “Home Ignition Zone” and you can learn more about easy steps you can take in “Zone 1” around your home with desired landscaping and seasonal yard work.
There is also valuable information from NFPA and IBHS you can utilize to protect your roof, venting, and other structural vulnerabilities.
We’re still working on advice for airborne flaming cannonballs…
Photo Credit: Harley, Nicola. "Warwick Castle Cannonball Show Sets Fire to Historic Boathouse." Telegraph.co.uk. 10 April 2015.
Photo Credit: IBHS Research Center Ember Storm Test Highlights. Youtube. Captured 15 April 2015.
Technorati Tags: community action, Ember Risk, Embers, Firewise, Firewise Communities, Home Ignition Zone, IBHS, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, mitigation, Nicola Harley, preparedness, The Telegraph, wildfire, Wildland fire
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Current dry conditions and strong winds, especially in the west, have led to “red flag warnings” in many states. The Wildfire Today blog has been doing a great job positing daily information about where red flag warnings have been issued via the National Weather Service.
It got me thinking about what a “red flag warning” means and how residents should respond to one if issued in their area. Such warnings are issues when vegetation is dry, relative humidity is low, and winds are high over a period of time or a time of day.
A fire in these conditions can spread rapidly. The National Weather Service provides a detailed definition of a red flag warning and a glossary definition to help explain how the warnings are determined. Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe of KKTV, Colorado Springs, CO, provided a valuable explanation in this 2009 post as well.
What should a red flag warning mean to a Firewise Community?
I had the opportunity earlier today to speak with Courtney Peterson, Wildfire Mitigation Education Coordinator and Firewise State Liaison with Colorado State Forest Service, and she shared with me that with, “Colorado’s snowpack at only 65 percent of average and red flag warnings in effect throughout much of Colorado, there’s no better time than now to prepare homes and communities for wildfire.”
She went onto say that, “homeowners, landowners and communities bear the ultimate responsibility to help protect themselves, their property and their local values at risk from the threat of wildfire. Taking simple steps, such as clearing brush, trees and other flammable materials away from homes and other structures, can help make homes more defensible and keep residents and firefighters safe.”
Learn about the risk and play your part in wildfire preparedness today.
Photo Credit: National Weather Service, http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge2/fire/briefing.php
Posted by Lucian Deaton on 04/15/2015 at 04:09 PM in Environment, Fire Adapted Communities, Firewise, Firewise Plants, Mitigation, Science, Weather and Predictive Services, Wildfire Hazards, wildland firefighter, Wildland Urban Interface | Permalink | Comments (0)
Technorati Tags: Colorado State Forest Service, community action, Fire Adapted Communities, Fire Weather Zone Warning, Firewise, Firewise Communities, mitigation, National Weather Service, Red Flag Warning, wildfire, Wildland fire
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NFPA leadership and staff had a great opportunity today to talk about wildfire safety and mitigation in our nation's capital. The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) is holding its 27th Annual Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner this week at the Washington Hilton. While in town, I accompanied NFPA President Jim Pauley and VP for Outreach & Advocacy Lorraine Carli on a visit to our partners at the US Forest Service Washington office, where we had to get a photo op with Smokey Bear.
I moderated an excellent presentation by Barnegat, New Jersey, fire and police leaders John Cowie and Keith Germain, who described their unique partnership and lessons drawn from Firewise, the Ready, Set, Go! program of the IAFC, and Fire Adapted Communities. So much community trust and relationship building went on around wildfire safety in this high-risk area of New Jersey that when Superstorm Sandy struck, the township made what seemed impossible - safe evacuation and protection of homes during a devastating storm - not only probable but successful.
Looking forward to this afternoon's sessions on community risk reduction and more!
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Part of the US Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Branch of Wildland Fire Management oversees activities on more than 55 million acres of land held in trust by the U.S. for Native Americans in the U.S., Native American tribes, and Alaska Natives.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ website offers a host of information to communities to help with the prevention of human caused fires as well as mitigating the negative effects of wildland fire to tribal homes and people. Firewise Communities/USA® is a featured resource.
There is also a link to information about bridging science and a traditional knowledge of fire, campfire safety, youth fire prevention, arson prevention and reporting along with posters and videos.
According to the BIA website:
“The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Tribal Wildfire Prevention programs across the country provide leadership, training and guidance to develop strategies to reduce the number of human caused fires on Indian Reservations. Prevention program staff work closely with tribal leaders and communities to: