Firewise Presentation_New Mexico WUI Summit


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A presentation to participants at the March 2011 New Mexico WUI Summit in Ruidoso. Learn how to become a recognized Firewise Communities/USA site!

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Firewise Presentation_New Mexico WUI Summit

  1. 1. Firewise Communities<br />A National Program You Can Use<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Why Firewise?<br />Some Background<br />What’s New for You<br />
  3. 3. Why Firewise?<br />Wildfires can put dozens (even hundreds) of homes at risk simultaneously.<br />Firefighters may not have the resources to protect each home.<br />Residents can take action to increase their homes’ chances of surviving a wildfire.<br />
  4. 4. Why Firewise recognition?<br />Wildfires will continue as an ecological phenomenon<br />Most homes are located on private property<br />Landowners prefer to exercise their right to make choices related to their surroundings<br />Often, they are under the impression that there is nothing they can do<br />
  5. 5. Why Firewise recognition?<br />Firewise Communities/USA offers communities the information to change this situation<br />The program requires sustained community action in order for recognition status to be achieved and maintained<br />
  6. 6. Why do communities participate?<br />Firewise Communities/USA provides up-to-date, take-action information to homeowners<br />
  7. 7. Why do communities participate?<br />The program provides homeowners with the ability to create their own, unique solutions to their wildfire mitigation challenges<br />
  8. 8. Why do communities participate?<br />When people understand there is something they can do, they are more apt to act<br />
  9. 9. Firewise recognition is about community<br />Homeowners receive location-specific information and guidance to help them lower their fire risk<br />They design and adopt plans that meet their needs<br />
  10. 10. Firewise – A Little History<br />
  11. 11. National Firewise Communities® Program <br />VISION: Wildland fires can occur in areas of residential development without the occurrence of disastrous loss.<br />MISSION: To promote community-wide responsibility in the use of technology, policy and practices that minimize the loss of life and property to wildland fire independent of fire fighting efforts. <br />
  12. 12. Firewise program sponsors<br />USDA-Forest Service<br />U.S. Department of the Interior<br />National Fire Protection Association<br />National Association of State Foresters<br />Federal Emergency Management Agency<br />International Association of Fire Chiefs<br />National Association of State Fire Marshals<br />National Emergency Management Association <br />U.S. Fire Administration<br />
  13. 13. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)<br />Nonprofit life safety codes and standards organization<br />Founded in 1896<br />80,000+ members worldwide<br />300+ consensus codes and standards documents<br />Administers the Firewise program <br />Partner with USDA Forest Service, US DOI, US Fire Administration on WUI Fire Protection since 1986<br />
  14. 14. 1985 Wildfires – A Call to Action<br />1,400 homes <br />lost!<br />CA<br />400 in ONE day!!<br />FL<br />
  15. 15. Firewise Timeline<br />1991: Fire-resistant landscaping articles in Horticulture and Sunset<br />1993: National Fire-Resistant Plant Task Force creates the name ‘Firewise’ at meeting in Ontario, California<br />1996: was launched<br />1998: Breakthrough research: The International Crown Fire Modeling Experiment<br />
  16. 16. 1998 – A Research Breakthrough!<br />International Crown Fire Modeling Experiment - Northwest Territories findings<br />Big crown fire flames burn out in about 50 seconds<br />Crown fire must be less than 100 feet to ignite a wood wall<br />33 feet - heavy char; few ignitions<br />66 feet - no char or scorch<br />
  17. 17. The Firewise ‘Aha’!<br />The research convinced us that homeowners COULD take control of their properties and, by working together, their communities<br />We had the responsibility of sharing this information with the widest possible audience<br />Forest Meadows - Murphys, California<br />
  18. 18. Our Focus Turned to the Home Ignition Zone<br />The concept of the home ignition zone was created. It refers to the 100-200’ around a house and its attachments<br />A house burns because of its interrelationship with everything in its immediate surroundings (100 -200 feet)<br />What happens within this zone is critical to structure survival<br />A wildfire’s potential relationship with a house can be interrupted here<br />
  19. 19. Recognition Criteria<br />Firewise Communities/USA®<br />
  20. 20. Firewise Communities/USA Standards <br />STEP 1: Complete an assessment<br />45 states have Firewise Communities/USA liaisons to coordinate this service<br />
  21. 21. Firewise Communities/USA Standards<br />STEP 2: Form a Firewise Board<br />Members should include community residents, fire professionals and other interested parties<br />They create a plan using information from the community assessment<br />
  22. 22. Firewise Communities/USA Standards<br />STEP 3: Sponsor an event<br />Called ‘Firewise Day’, it implements specific action items in the community plan<br />
  23. 23. Firewise Communities/USA Standards<br />STEP 4: Invest a minimum of $2/capita<br />Volunteer hours, equipment use, time contributed by agency fire staff and grant funding can be included<br />A volunteer hour is currently valued at $20.85<br />Count any and all work WITHIN the community<br />
  24. 24. Firewise Communities/USA Standards<br />STEP 5: Submit an application or renewal<br />Application/renewal forms can be downloaded at<br />Deliver to state liaison by December 31<br />Receive Firewise communities/USA signs and other recognition materials<br />
  25. 25. Why do we want renewal?<br />Steps 3-5 – Firewise Day, $2/capita investment, and report (renewal form) must be repeated annually<br />Sustained community action needed to improve fire safety<br />Vegetation grows back – emphasis on maintenance<br />“One-shot” recognition has little to no long-term impact on a community’s ignition resistance<br />
  26. 26. The Big Idea<br />Firewise concepts become ingrained and “normal” because we do them every day<br />Behavior change models include recycling and seat belt use<br />Firewise concepts can be supported by regulation and codes, but ultimately must be embraced by residents <br />Participation is VOLUNTARY. The recognition program has retained nearly 80% of more than 800 communities that have ever initiated the process.<br />
  27. 27. Firewise Communities/USA - Facts<br />1999 pilot; 2002 official launch with 12 sites<br />More than 650 sites in 41 states -- and growing! <br />Residents are accepting their role in mitigating wildfire hazards<br />Communities have invested more than $76 million since 2003<br />245 sites involved 5+ years<br />
  28. 28. Crystal Lake Club, Wisconsin<br />A Recognized Community Since 2004<br />
  29. 29. Engagement in Firewise: By State<br />No active communities<br />Connecticut<br />Delaware<br />Illinois<br />Indiana<br />Iowa<br />Nebraska<br />North Dakota<br />Rhode Island<br />Vermont<br />
  30. 30. Products for Communities<br />Recognition signs, plaque<br />Story on the Firewise website<br />Using “MyFirewise” network to connect/share<br />Media Kit<br />Quarterly “How To” Newsletter<br />Firewise plant lists<br />Firewise Alert (monthly email)<br />Hill Country near Austin, Texas<br />
  31. 31. Community Benefits<br />Recognition ceremonies offer opportunities to showcase success and spread the word about Firewise, including media coverage.<br />Improved rankings for FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Planning and Project Grants<br />Generation of a “me-too” attitude in surrounding areas<br />Oklahoma Firewise<br />
  32. 32. More community benefits<br /><ul><li>Residents gain increased sense of safety
  33. 33. Fire staff forges a bond with the community
  34. 34. Neighbor-to-neighbor communication is enhanced
  35. 35. Landscape, greenbelt and common area beautification often results</li></ul>Big Bear City, California<br />
  36. 36. More community benefits<br /><ul><li>CWPPs can incorporate and support Firewise Communities to address structural ignitability
  37. 37. County/regional entities can and do use the program to reach the resident level
  38. 38. New Title III county funding promotes Firewise activity
  39. 39. Long-standing or ongoing efforts can gain increased recognition and attention</li></ul>Circle Oaks, Napa, California<br />
  40. 40. Resources for You<br />Firewise “User Guide”<br />Includes a template for writing up community assessments<br />Application forms, volunteer forms and more at<br />Free online course on Conducting Community Assessments<br />Helps advocates help their communities take the first step<br />Social networking at MyFirewise<br />
  41. 41. New at NFPA and Firewise<br />
  42. 42. New at NFPA: Wildland Fire Operations Division<br /><ul><li>Keeps Firewise as a core education and advocacy program
  43. 43. Elevates wildland fire on a par with other public education and advocacy initiatives
  44. 44. Division Director Dave Nuss based in Colorado
  45. 45. Advisory Committee has met twice and helped shape strategic plan </li></ul>Dave Nuss, Director, NFPA Wildland Fire Operations<br />
  46. 46. More New at NFPA:<br />Firewise Materials on NFPA Catalog: Now with FREE shipping!<br />
  47. 47. More New at NFPA:<br />Partnership with International Association of Fire Chiefs on “Ready, Set, Go!”<br />
  48. 48. Developments in 2010<br />Ready, Set, Go!<br />Created 1,000 flash drives with RSG and Firewise materials, distributed at IAFC WUI Conference in Reno and elsewhere<br />Prepared talking points for IAFC and Firewise<br />Firewise Outreach – NAPS<br />North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS) distributed article<br />Family Features put it on the web<br />NAPS radio has a recorded 60-second PSA for wide use.<br />
  49. 49. Developments in 2010<br />Quick Response Unit – Communications<br />Designed to work with state forestry and PIOs at the time of a fire to get Firewise messages out and lend national support in the form of spokespeople<br />Targeting California, North Carolina, Texas and Florida<br />Already implemented in Michigan successfully in May<br /><br />Working to implement in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Texas<br />
  50. 50. Questions? Discussion?<br />Thank You!<br />Michele Steinberg<br />617-984-7487<br /><br />Karen Lightfoot<br />505-867-2334 x106<br /> <br />