May 23, 2012 – The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program is honoring 20 official Firewise communities from 11 states who celebrate their 10-year anniversary of continued participation and successes in reducing wildfire risks. The communities became nationally recognized in 2003, and were among the earliest adopters of the Firewise Communities/USA process.
The Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program, launched in 2002, was born out of the Firewise Communities Program to give communities the opportunity to earn recognition for working together toward wildland fire preparedness to save lives, property and natural resources. The Firewise Communities Program was developed in the 1980s in response to severe property losses from brush, grass and forest fires across the country.
The following communities are celebrating their 10-year anniversaries of active participation as Firewise Communities/USA sites:
“We’re proud of these communities who were among the first to recognize the positive impact of collective actions to prevent wildfire damage and do something about it,” said Dave Nuss, wildland fire operations division manager for NFPA. “Communities all across the U.S. -- from Pennsylvania to Wyoming, Washington to Florida -- are a part of this extraordinary group of communities whose early adoption of Firewise principles has helped save lives, property and natural resources.”
Some examples of these pioneering communities’ efforts include:
“We are indebted to these early adopters for taking the lead in wildfire safety, and for persevering in Firewise activities for the past decade,” said Michele Steinberg, manager of the NFPA Firewise Communities Program. “Their dedicated fire and safety professionals and motivated residents have truly helped minimize wildfire risk factors, and their hard work surely has paid off.”
Each community will receive a special flame-shaped glass award in honor of their long-term commitment to community wildfire safety.
NFPA’s announcement comes during the already-active 2012 wildfire season, which experts predict will continue to be challenging for firefighters and citizens throughout the country. More information about the Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program and a complete list of official Firewise Communities/USA sites can be found on the Firewise website.
The Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters and others in creating fire-adapted communities – places where people and property are safer from the risk of brush, grass and forest fires. Firewise is a program of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior and the National Association of State Foresters.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.