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It's time to start working on your 2021 renewal application!

Did you know that being recognized by the Firewise USA® program requires annual commitment to action? Each year, participating communities engage in educational outreach and science-based risk reduction within their boundaries. This annual work improves the overall condition of homes and properties, increasing the odds of withstanding a wildfire. 

Firewise USA sites share the work they've done through the annual renewal application, found on the Firewise USA portal. This sharing keeps them In Good Standing for the next calendar year. In 2021, renewal applications are due Friday, November 19, and can be started now.

In addition to the regular criteria, some participants may need to update their Action Plan.

The Action Plan is a prioritized list of risk reduction projects or investments for an induvial Firewise site, along with suggested homeowner actions and education activities that the community will strive to complete annually or over a period of years.

The Action Plan should be broken down by year and reflect the community’s goals. This document is required to be updated at least every three years so that it best reflects your community’s needs and past accomplishments. As circumstances change (e.g., activities are completed, a fire or a natural disaster occurs, new construction in the community started, etc.), the action plan may need to be updated more frequently.

  • The Action Plan update should be completed by the community's Firewise committee, which is comprised of residents and wildfire experts.
  • The plan can be as short as one page but should address the components in the definition above.
  • The plan should include some basic measurements for each goal, such as “Increase number of residents participating in meetings by 5 percent,” or “Increase number of homes completing all recommended actions in the 0-5 foot space by 10 percent.”

 Some ideas to address in your plan can include, but are not limited to:

  • Increase overall participation in risk reduction efforts within your community. Are there a few homes or sections of a neighborhood that are not participating?
  • Increase the number of homes that have had a fire safety check-up or risk evaluation. 
  • What percentage of homes have tackled the 0-5 foot space in making it non-combustible? Highlight those positive efforts, share with other community members, and work to increase the number of homes that have completed recommended actions in that area.
  • What do your community’s gutters and roofs look like, are they covered in debris? Identify homes that are not doing annual cleanup work and find ways to encourage them – maybe they just don’t know, maybe the owners are older and need assistance, etc.
  • What educational outreach plans do you have? Is there room for expansion of those plans?  

The updated action plan is submitted with annual renewal application. Visit the portal today to check your status and get started.

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Megan Fitzgerald-McGowan
Program Specialist, Megan manages Firewise USA® and holds a deep belief that collaboration is the best way to reduce risk and loss from wildfire.

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