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Using GIS to Teach Wildfire Safety

Using GIS to Teach Wildfire Safety



Homes are designed, built, and

Homes are designed, built, and
maintained to withstand a wildfire
the intervention of the fire department.



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    Using GIS to Teach Wildfire Safety Using GIS to Teach Wildfire Safety Presentation Transcript

    • Using GIS to Teach Wildfire Safety Denise Laitinen Firewise Communities Hawaii Coordinator Hawaii Island HIGICC Geospatial Expo May 20, 2014
    • What/who is Firewise?  Created in 1985 by NFPA & USDA after a horrific fire season  Part of the National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Program  Overseen by the WUI Working Team of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group  Sponsored by:  USDA Forest Service  Department of the Interior, National Park Service  National Fire Protection Association  US Fire Administration/FEMA  National Association of State Foresters
    • National: (too many to list)  American Planning Association  American Red Cross  American Society of Landscape Architects  Community Associations Institute  Congressional Fire Services Institute  Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)  Institute for Business & Home Safety  Insurance Services Office  International Association of Fire Chiefs  International Association of Wildland Fire Local: 80+ groups including:  Hawaii Fire Dept.  Maui County Fire Dept.  Kauai Fire Dept.  City & County of Honolulu Fire Dept.  DOFAW  Maui Association of Landscape Professionals  U.S. Fish & Wildfire Service  Hui O Laka, Kokee Museum  Pohakuloa Training Area, U.S. Army  Grove Farm  Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park  Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Cooperators and Allies
    • Ocean View The Firewise Goal Homes are designed, built, and maintained to withstand a wildfire WITHOUT the intervention of the fire department.
    • A Vision for the Future A Vision for the Future: Wildland fires occur in the future without the loss of homes and structures.
    • For homeowners being Firewise means: 1. Having defensible space and 2. Using fire-resistant building materials. This house has a triple fuel break (gravel, grass, rocks). 3,000-acre fire in Launiupoko, Maui
    • Firewise Activities 2002-Present ‘What does Firewise do in Hawaii?”  Community Outreach/Presentations  Media Relations  Meetings  Trainings/Workshops  Community Work Days  Alert Communities to Grant Opportunities
    • Create educational tools Examine wildfire behavior What burns? What doesn’t? Why?
    • Community Outreach
    • Firewise hazard assessments of West Hawaii subdivisions with Hawaii Fire Dept. Field work:
    • Wildfire Hazard Assessment  Standardized method to determine a community’s risk  Part of NFPA 1144 (Appendix A)  Gives you a look at the good, the bad, and the really scary. Why is road width important? Why is vertical clearance important?
    • Gasoline Charcoal Hazard assessments are important because they discover issues that can be rectified BEFORE a fire strikes.
    • How do you teach wildfire safety using GIS?
    • Firewise Communities and ESRI  Education has always been a key element of spreading the Firewise message about wildfire behavior and prevention.  Early on Firewise partnered with ESRI on a national level to create standard training model that could be used nationwide.  The result was the creation of a GIS- based model that reflects many of the situations faced by communities across the country.  Using a standardized model for full-day workshops ensures consistency in training nationwide whether training firefighters, planners, or civilians.
    • Firewise Workshops  Firewise workshops educate folks about wildfire, its behavior, and how to reduce the risk of wildfire to their home and community.  A key part of this training is learning how to conduct a wildfire hazard assessment (part of NFPA 1142, a national standard.)  By using the GIS-based maps and tools, participants learn about wildfire mitigation.  These workshops are usually the first time participants have ever heard of GIS, never mind using it.
    • Using GIS to teach fire safety & community planning  GIS as a learning tool: multiple data layers enable non- technical people to easily grasp the importance of wildfire safety on an individual and community level. * Learn how to reduce wildfire risks as well as identify them. The importance of community planning: People understand the importance of planning with fire safety in mind and learn strategies to reduce their risk.
    • Ocean View Why is Firewise important? Being Firewise saves lives and homes. The Waikoloa Firewise committee held a regularly scheduled community work day and cleared the fuel break just 3 WEEKS before this 2005 fire. The cleared fuel break is credited with preventing the 25,000 acre wildfire from spreading into the community. (Extra credit: Any idea why this picture represents completely backward planning?)
    • Mahalo! For more info: Denise Laitinen (808) 281-3497 firewisehawaii@yahoo.com Facebook: Firewise Communities Hawaii Twitter: @FirewiseHawaii Google+: Firewise Communities Hawaii