Community Safety Approaches/Strategies

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The Survivable Space Initiative:  Giving Knowledge, Building Trust (PDF, 21 MB)
Presenter(s): Tim Weaver, Lieutenant, Rapid City, South Dakota Fire Department
Description: Mitigation plans have historically been utilized to create defensible properties, when they are actually intended to create survivable properties. This presentation will provide why the Rapid City, South Dakota program became so successful and how Rapid City went from 27 fuel reduction assessments over a 10-year span to averaging 20 assessments per month with a 70% participation rate, and how our approach can work in your community.

Reaching Middle and High School Students with Wildfire Safety Education (PDF, 3 MB)
Presenter(s): Cathy Prudhomme, NFPA Wildland Fire Operations Division
Description: Educators and researchers agree that children are the best messengers for home-based preparedness and have the capability to convince their parents to prepare. Prior to developing a wildland fire program for youth, NFPA staff met with students in communities recently impacted by wildfires to learn the best methods to reach them and their peers with information. The value of their comments has the power to change how future WUI homeowners look at where they live.

Surviving Wildfire:  Losing Your Home, Rebuilding Your Life (PDF, 1 MB)
Presenter(s): Linda Masterson, Author and Researcher
Description: Linda Masterson has survived what so many fear; losing a home to wildfire. She will share critical steps you can take now to reduce risk and be better prepared to deal with the worst. You'll learn how to evaluate your needs and work with your insurance company before and after a loss to make the road to recovery less painful to travel - and make sure you'll have the resources you need to rebuild your life.

A Recipe for Successful Firewise® Communities
Presenter(s): Gary Marshall, NFPA Firewise Advisor
Description: Often you will hear that communities want an incentive to motivate residents to get involved in the Firewise Communities/USA® program. This presentation will provide examples to help motivate citizens, types of grants available, how to find that community "Sparkplug", and how to motivate without experiencing a recent area wildfire.

Waldo Canyon Fire - Success Stories and Lessons Learned Pre and Post-Fire (PDF, 8 MB)
Presenter(s): Christina Randall and Amy Sylvester, Colorado Springs, Colorado Fire Department
Description: The Waldo Canyon Fire was the most devastating wildland fire in Colorado history in terms of property damage. After more than 10 years, the Colorado Springs Wildfire Mitigation program was put to the test. Attendees will learn about the cohesive strategy to address wildfire risk and how it paid off. In addition, attendees will learn about the evacuation phase and the aftermath in dealing with fire code changes in a community still dealing with loss.

Wildfire Matters: Teaching Kids About the Wildland/Urban Interface (PDF, 4 MB)
Presenter(s): Einar Jensen, South Metro Fire Rescue Authority, Colorado
Description: Community wildfire risk reduction requires cultural changes and cultural changes take time.
Community wildfire risk reduction requires cultural changes and cultural changes do take time. This presentation explains the background and components of this four-part program and provides resources to audience members who wish to build their own programs utilizing state academic standards. This presentation will also cover the value of educating 4th graders about the risks of living in wildland/urban interface communities and how it will empower them to create and reside in wildfire adapted communities when they are adults and the importance of bringing the messages home to their families to initiate conversations and bring about cultural change among adults.

Introduction to Firewise® Principles
Pat Durland, Stone Creek Fire, LLC
Description: This presentation presents serious information in a light-hearted way and provides participants with a general knowledge of homeowner and community protection and wildland fire in wildland/urban interface areas. The presentation components will provide the participants with general knowledge about the history of fire, fire behavior elements, Firewise strategies, being part of the wildfire solution, and things to consider if a wildfire threatens.

Fires, Floods, Fences and Funding (PDF, 5 MB)
Presenter(s): Mark Brehl, Flagstaff, Arizona Fire Department
Description: Recent wildfires have highlighted a new urgency to protect communities from not only the threat of wildfire, but from devastating indirect impacts such as flooding. These impacts often occur long after the fire is out, continue for years and result in greater social, economic and environmental impacts than the fire itself. While the wildfire threat may exist outside of a community’s jurisdiction, the potentially devastating impacts could be theirs alone. This presentation will focus on the lessons learned by the City of Flagstaff as it successfully sought voter approval to implement an innovative project designed to utilize $10 million of municipal bond funding to help plan, accelerate and implement forest treatments on federal and state lands with high potential for severe wildfire and subsequent flooding.

Success in Prevention, Preparedness, and Partnerships in Washington State (PDF, 27 MB)
Presenter(s): Jennifer Hinderman, Skagit Conservation District; Suzanne Wade, Kittitas County Conservation District; Fred Wefer, Skagit County Fire Marshal's Office; Carolyn Kelly, Skagit Conservation District; Al Craney, Skagit Conservation District
Description: Learn how partnerships in prevention and preparedness in Washington resulted in community resilience during the Taylor Bridge Fire. Information will be provided on partnerships that were formed, work that was completed before the fire came through, specifics of the fire, and stories of success resulting from prevention efforts. Attendees can use the state’s success and lessons learned as a framework to help promote fire prevention activities and build resilience within their communities.

Fortune Favors the Prepared - Community Outreach with Ready, Set, Go! & Firewise® in Eagle County, Colorado (PDF, 8 MB)
Presenter(s): Eric Lovgren, Eagle County Community Development, Colorado
Description: This session will focus on how local, state, and federal fire managers partnered with private citizens to facilitate a series of well-attended Community Fire Preparedness Workshops in Eagle County, Colorado. Attendees will gain knowledge on how to use the Firewise and Ready, Set, Go! programs to improve the dialogue between homeowners and emergency responders in regards to creating defensible space, preparing the home for fire season, wildfire response and family evacuation planning. Particular attention will be given to the importance and value of having agency and private sector involvement in preparing your community for wildfire.

What’s Going Right? Finding Firewise® Successes & Making More of Them! (PDF, 6 MB)
Presenter(s): Michele Steinberg, NFPA Wildland Fire Operations Division
Description: An essential tool of leadership and motivation is to "catch someone doing something right." This single key principle allows us to achieve better results and allows people their greatest level of hope, inspiration, buy-in and accomplishment. In the world of wildfire safety, we so often focus on disaster, loss and failure. The Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program was established to change this paradigm and to focus on "what’s going right" with respect to home and community preparedness for wildland fire. Learn how this change of focus has motivated hundreds of thousands of people all over the U.S. to change their behavior and culture to be "Firewise-friendly," and to begin to reduce risks to their homes and neighborhoods. Discover principles of motivation and commitment used in Firewise Communities/USA sites to sustain long-term risk reduction activity.

Firewise® in the Classroom – Youth Working with Communities to Adapt to Wildfire (PDF, 16 MB)
Presenters: Dan Douglas, Education Director, Lassen County, California Fire Safe Council; Anna Stephens, Program Facilitator, Butte County Fire Safe Council, Wildfire in the Foothills Program
Description: Around the world, youth are recognized as playing an important role in reducing the risk of disasters and promoting community resilience. Youth are participating in disaster education programs and carrying home what they learn; their families, in turn, are disseminating knowledge into the community. The "Firewise in the Classroom" program consists of a five-lesson 6th grade curriculum provided over a one week classroom environment. The program engages the students in an area of study that has relevance for them and their families. Each lesson requires approximately one hour per day for student presentation and activities provided by the classroom teacher. Interactions between parents and students are encouraged by requiring parents to be involved in homework assignments, family discussions and activities.

Key Elements to Creating, Building and Sustaining a Successful Community Firewise® Program (PDF, 10 MB)
Presenters: Dick N. Hiss, Keowee Key Firewise Committee Chairperson and Michael Bozzo, South Carolina Forestry Commission
Description: Creating wildland/urban interface wildfire danger awareness; developing community wildfire action plans; organizing homeowners and community leaders through motivation and organization are all necessary steps to conduct Firewise activities in a diverse, active, senior community. The South Carolina Forestry Commission partnered with Keowee FD in a key organizational role to initiate and support Firewise efforts, including funding of new equipment and various Firewise projects. Creating an effective Firewise program requires education and action programs to support personal and community property protection. Action-oriented people need motivation, incentives and organization to execute effective programs. This presentation shows how Chipping Days and Leaf Collection Recycling programs successfully involve homeowners and result in the removal of potential "fuel" from resident and community property. Keowee Key’s success has spawned five local Firewise programs.

Prescott, Arizona - A Case Study in Community Wildfire Defense (PDF, 3 MB)
Presenter(s): Hylton Haynes, NFPA Wildland Fire Operations Division
Description: Firewise Communities/USA® is a national program designed to encourage residents of wildfire-prone areas to take action to reduce wildfire risks to their homes and neighborhoods. In 2001, 10 pilot communities were identified nationally and formally recognized. One of these communities is Timber Ridge, located in Prescott, Arizona. This presentation examines how this effective community action movement has evolved in the city of Prescott and how local, state and federal stakeholders are collaboratively sustaining and enhancing community resilience in the wildland/urban interface.

Partnerships in Wildfire Mitigation (PDF, 9 MB)
Presenter(s): Jerry McAdams, Boise, Idaho Fire Department; Julia K. Grant, City of Boise, Idaho; Brittany Jones, Southwest Idaho Resource Conservation & Development Council
Description: Wildfire mitigation efforts should focus on forming partnerships as well as coordinating resources and strategies to create mutually beneficial outcomes in communities. Longer wildfire seasons and increased development in wildland/urban interface (WUI) areas exemplify the need for new and effective wildfire mitigation ventures. It is not uncommon for stakeholders to work on similar types of projects, unbeknownst to one another, creating a duplication of efforts. In a time when agency budgets are shrinking, the need to identify stakeholders and create efficient cooperative partnerships has never been greater. Boise City staff have successfully partnered with outside agencies, not-for-profits, small businesses, homeowners’ associations and neighborhood associations, to organize and manage multiple wildfire mitigation projects, reducing wildfire risk and increasing community awareness.

Reducing Risk from an Invasive Grass on Staten Island, New York (PDF, 7 MB)
Presenter(s): Heidi Wagner, NFPA Firewise Advisor
Description: Over the last fifteen years, 103 brush fires have occurred along the Eastern Shore of Staten Island. The source of these brush fires is the invasive grass Common Reed (Phragmites australis). Capable of reaching heights in excess of 12 feet, the standing dead stalks are highly ignitable. Large stands of this invasive grass grows close to the back doors of homes along the shoreline, and when ignited can produce flames of 50 feet or more with high rates of spread. Learn how residents and municipal agencies are addressing this unique wildfire threat.

Rewards and Responsibilities of Beverly Hills Becoming a Firewise® Community
Greg Barton, Beverly Hills, California Fire Department
Description: This session will explore how the community of Beverly Hills, California achieved National Firewise Communities/USA® recognition and the continuing challenges to maintain that status, as well as the process used to create a Firewise/Waterwise Mitigation Demonstration Garden, an Emmy Award Winning PSA, and other public education materials. The session will also discuss how the Firewise Board and local government can work together to develop and implement Firewise based ordinances in the community.

Developing Local Strength: Partnership Building Between Firewise® Communities and their Local Fire Departments
Presenters: Lucian Deaton, IAFC; Todd Chlanda, NFPA Firewise Advisor
Description: Firewise Communities® have long focused on developing an understanding of wildland fire threats and the roles and responsibilities each resident can take to ensure a safer future. Partnership building at the community level is paramount to this effort. This session will explain the important dialogue that should occur long before a fire starts between Firewise Communities and their local fire departments concerning preparedness, situational awareness and response. It will provide examples you can duplicate on connecting with local fire departments and gaining their involvement in Firewise Day activities and other mitigation efforts. The Ready, Set, Go! Program, managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), seeks to develop and improve the dialogue between fire departments and the residents they serve.

Rebuilding Pocatello: Community Attitudes and Involvement in Managing Wildfire Risk (PDF, 3 MB)
Presenters: Ivy Dickinson, Idaho Firewise; Bruce Olenick, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality; Hannah Sanger, City of Pocatello, Idaho; Danny Mann, Three Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council
Description: In 2012, the Charlotte Fire burned 66 structures in Pocatello, Idaho. This session will feature three panelists who will discuss the current efforts underway to rebuild in the aftermath of this event. The panelists will be sharing their perspectives on how this event has changed local attitudes regarding fire mitigation and preparedness, the progress of restoration and rebuilding efforts, as well as the challenges and roadblocks that the community has faced in getting through this event.

Hunting for Dollars (PDF, 7 MB)
Presenter(s): Keith Worley, Forestree Development, LLC, Certified Arborist
Description: Grant money is becoming more limited. So how do you find the money and resources to set up and continue your Firewise® community program? Learn alternative ways to sustain your program whether you are in a homeowners’ association, special district or just a loose collection of homeowners. This presentation will include how to identify partnerships and NGOs for funding, grant writing tips and setting up an in-kind tracking program.

Using Goats for Fire Prevention
Kathy Christensen, Chair, Emigration Canyon Firewise Board
Description: Homeowners either love or hate them…Goats! Emigration Oaks has used goats as a fire prevention technique for 5 years with mixed results. Our community experienced a fire in 2007 that showed goats are useful in prevention. The presentation will explain and show why homeowners and communities have different opinions.

Getting the Shakes Out of Here
David Yegge, Big Bear Lake Fire Department; Edwina Scott, Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council
Description: This presentation will describe the problem that exists with wood shake shingles, along with the steps that have been taken over the years to remove them. The presentation will also cover passing ordinances to replace wood shake shingles and getting community support, involving stakeholders and successes of the program.

Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy in the West (PDF, 1.8 MB)
Presenter(s): Katie Lighthall, Coordinator, Western Regional Strategy Committee, National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy; Ann Walker, Program Director, Forest and Rangeland Health and Western Governor’s Association
Description: Over the last four years, the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy has achieved multiple objectives under the three overarching goals of the Cohesive Strategy: resilient landscapes, fire adapted communities, and wildfire response. This presentation will highlight successful actions in communities around the West that are resulting in on-the-ground improvements under these three national goals. It will also include interactive discussion about audience efforts and plans to implement projects that will improve their landscape resilience, increase fire adapted communities and improve wildfire response.

From Scared to Prepared: How a School in East Texas Became Firewise® (PDF, 5 MB)
Presenter(s): Jan Amen, Texas A & M Forest Service
Description: How a small school in East Texas became the first Firewise school in America. These young people are breaking out of the expected and making a difference in their own community and in communities nationwide. Surrounded by dense forest, Etoile Texas residents are well acquainted with wildfire. Etoile School recently built a new facility that replaced the old combustible buildings. Students interested in learning about being safer from the threat of wildfire willingly became involved in Firewise Communities/USA® in 2008.The program is still going strong and growing roots beyond their backyards. With very little guidance, students are building skills in leadership, creative thinking, and communication. Children are encouraged to be innovative in their approach to getting the Firewise word out. These kids revel in the much-deserved recognition they are receiving from local media, their community and peers, and from the NFPA.

Cohesive Strategy – How Fire Adapted Communities Fits in the Big Picture (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Presenter(s): Shawn Stokes, IAFC
Description: The National Wildland Fire Cohesive Strategy highlights the need for communities to be fire adaptive, placing a new spotlight on a critical need. How does existing resources and programs support the new emphasis? What other resources are available? This session will present an overview of how Fire Adapted Communities fit into the Cohesive Strategy, how existing resources can be utilized and highlights two programs that complement what’s already been done to support the goal of FAC.

Doing a Walkabout Assessment in Your Community (PDF, 13 MB)
Faith Berry, NFPA Firewise Advisor
Description: This presentation will show how to use photographs in an entertaining way to encourage a community to complete a home assessment in wildfire-prone areas. Faith will also share a sample community assessment using pictures from a "walk about presentation" using the good, bad, and ugly situations found in a community. It would be helpful to those attending to have previously gone through the Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone workshop first, but not mandatory.

Firewise® Concepts and Implementation – A Community Perspective (PDF, 16 MB)
Presenter(s): Dan Dodson, Sun City, Texas Community Association
Description: The introduction of Firewise concepts, their implementation in the community, and their evolution over time to adapt to community needs has made Firewise a key operational component of the community. Actions to be taken by individual home owners and the community as a whole can be adapted to reflect the overall community environment. Communities that have multiple needs for action (e.g. wildfire, floods, protection of wildlife habit, and various governmental environmental regulations) can use an integrated approach to satisfy these needs. Resident education and participation in the program validates the program success.

The U in Wildland/Urban Interface: Tackling Wildfire Mitigation 1/10 of an Acre at a Time (PDF, 4 MB)
Presenter(s): Ali True, Ashland Fire & Rescue, Oregon
Description: Ashland, Oregon is a small western city with big wildfire potential. This presentation will discuss the challenges of wildfire mitigation when one Home Ignition Zone includes several homes. Learn how the City of Ashland has addressed its wildfire potential through a variety of methods, including a neighborhood-based Firewise Communities® program, a volunteer City Commission, collaborative watershed management, a limited regulatory environment, community education, grants and more.

Citizen Fire Academy: Increasing the Outreach Capacity of Wildland Fire Agencies through Education and Volunteer Service
Rhianna Simes, Stephen A. Fitzgerald and Max Bennett, Oregon State University Extension Service
Description: Citizen Fire Academy (CFA) is a collaborative, education and service program designed to increase the outreach capacity of residential and wildland fire agencies, and ultimately to maintain and enhance fire-adapted communities in Oregon and beyond. The goal is to increase implementation of defensible space and other Firewise® practices, and build human capacity (in a cost effective way) in order to address the threat of wildfire. This session will share how collaboration between fire professionals, educators, and partnering agencies can train a knowledgeable volunteer cadre who are able to assist in activities ranging from community education to coordination of neighborhood fire planning activities. With the outreach and education budgets of many agencies dwindling, CFA is an innovative model that can be replicated in other areas.

The Pine Barren Connection: Living Compatibly with a Common Fire-Adapted Ecosystem (PDF, 13 MB)
Heidi Wagner, NFPA Firewise Advisor
Description: Extensive undeveloped tracts of pitch pines are located in New York, Massachusetts, Long Island and New Jersey. These fire-prone environments are adapted to and require periodic fire to maintain forest health. As development into these areas continues, firefighters have been forced to quickly contain any fires that ignite to protect surrounding communities. Due to the lack of fire, high fuel loads exist in these natural areas. Dry conditions have the potential to produce fires that burn with greater intensity than fires would have historically. This presentation will review Firewise® strategies being implemented by residents and communities to mitigate this common threat.

Planning for Evacuation for Genesee, Colorado (PDF, 21 MB)
Ryan Babcock, Genesee Foundation and Genesee Fire Rescue
Description: Evacuation has been listed as a challenge in many wildland fire reviews. Jefferson County Emergency Management has partnered with Genesee to perform an evacuation drill to gather data, engage citizens and help prepare all who may be involved if the need to evacuate occurs. This presentation takes you from the planning to final outcomes of this drill.

Fun, But Effective Wildfire Protection Education
Patrick Mahoney and Melissa A. Yunas, Florida Forest Service
Description: Wildfire scare tactics and close calls are a good motivation for educating certain communities. But, most communities believe it will not happen to them, so how do you overcome that mindset? This presentation will show festivals and other promotional events can be a fun and effective approach to wildfire protection education. Awareness and community support all can be yours without alarming campaigns.

Wildfire Tests a Subdivision on its Way to Becoming a Fire-Adapted Community (PDF, 15 MB)
Pamela Wilson and Rebecca Samulski, FireWise of Southwest Colorado
Description: You don’t have to be a completely ‘fire-adapted community’ for mitigation to make a difference. Elk Stream Ranch residents knew it was a matter of time before a large wildfire would rumble into their canyon. Years of planning and mitigation paid off when the 10,000-acre Weber Fire burned into this southwest Colorado community from an unanticipated direction. No homes were lost and the work done by residents made many a firefighter become true believers in the benefits of wildfire preparedness. Find out how residents came together to prepare for a wildfire, the impact of state and federal agency involvement, and what residents plan to do now that some of their fire defenses passed a crucial test.