Firewise Review


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Michele's presentation to North Carolina Forest Service staff on October 4, 2011

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  • NFPA Communications Division has provided full support and oversight of communications contract and website redesignnew technical staff and administrative support, regional Firewise advisors
  • As you have seen from the previous slides, the first step in helping residents become Firewise is to provide an assessment of their wildfire risks. NFPA’s Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) seminar provides key information to help you support community members.
  • Among other things, the two day seminar covers these items.
  • Among other things, the two day seminar covers these items.
  • Among other things, the two day seminar covers these items.
  • Firewise Review

    1. 1. Firewise Communities<br />A National Program You Can Use<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br />Firewise – A Little History<br />Becoming Firewise and Staying Recognized<br />The Future of Firewise and NFPA Updates<br />
    3. 3. Firewise – A Little History<br />
    4. 4. 1985 Wildfires – A Call to Action<br />1,400 homes <br />lost!<br />CA<br />400 in <br />ONE day!!<br />FL<br /><ul><li>Wildfires can put dozens (even hundreds) of homes at risk simultaneously
    5. 5. Firefighters may not have the resources to protect every home. </li></li></ul><li>The Evolution of Firewise<br />1986: Cooperative Agreement between NFPA and USDA Forest Service<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 />
    6. 6. Evidence Gave us Clues<br />Two studies of California wildfire survival. Qualifier: Homes did not have shake/shingle roofs<br />Belair-Brentwood Fire (1961): 95% home survival with 30-60 feet of clearance<br />Painted Cave Fire (1990): 86% home survival with at least 30 feet of clearance<br />
    7. 7. Breakthrough Research<br />1998: International Crown Fire Modeling Experiment – Northwest Territories<br />Big crown fire flames burn out in about 50 seconds<br />Crown fire must be less than 100 ft to ignite a wood wall<br />33 ft: heavy char; few ignitions<br />66 ft: no char or scorch<br />
    8. 8. The Firewise ‘Aha’!<br />The research convinced us that homeowners COULD take action to increase their home surviving a wildfire by modifying their “home ignition zone”<br />We had the responsibility of sharing this information with the widest possible audience<br />
    9. 9. The Need for a Firewise Program<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 />Community action is better than individual efforts <br />
    10. 10. 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 />
    11. 11. The Evolution of Firewise<br />1999 – 2003: 30 National Firewise Planning Workshops and hundreds of spin-off workshops<br />2000-2001: Pilot test: Firewise Communities/USA model<br />2002: Launch of Firewise Communities/USA with 12 pilot sites<br />
    12. 12. Today’s Firewise Communities Program<br />Over 700 communities in 40 states around the U.S. and growing…<br />Communities have invested more than $76 million since 2003<br />230 sites involved 5+ years<br />
    13. 13. Today’s Firewise Communities Program<br />Program Sponsors: <br />USDA-Forest Service<br />National Fire Protection Association<br />U.S. Department of the Interior<br />National Association of State Foresters<br />
    14. 14. Today’s Firewise Communities Program<br />2010: Reorganization within 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 />Wildland Fire Operations Division created within NFPA<br />
    15. 15. NFPA: Wildland Fire Operations Division<br /><ul><li>Keeps Firewise as a core education and advocacy program
    16. 16. Elevates wildland fire on a par with other public education and advocacy initiatives
    17. 17. Division Director: Dave Nuss, based in Colorado</li></ul>Dave Nuss, Director, NFPA Wildland Fire Operations<br />
    18. 18. Becoming Firewise and Staying Recognized<br />
    19. 19. Firewise Communities/USA Criteria<br />1: Complete an assessment of community wildfire risk<br />2: Form a board or committee and create an action plan<br />3: Conduct a Firewise Day annually<br />4: Document local activity of at least $2/capita in value<br />5: Submit an application for recognition<br />(Renew status annually) <br />
    20. 20. Importance of 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 />
    21. 21. Firewise Strategies: Home Ignition Zone<br />The Home Ignition Zoneincludes the home, in addition to its immediate surroundings up to 200 feet.<br />If it’s attached to the house, it’s part of the house.<br />
    22. 22. Firewise Strategies: Keep flames from touching the house and attachments<br />Create a ‘fuel free’ area around your house that runs one yard out on all sides. <br />When preparing your home ignition zone, start with the house and work out <br />
    23. 23. Firewise Strategies: Keep flames from touching the house and attachments<br />Wood fences and mulch should not touch structures <br />Keep mulch and pine needles away from house, fence and deck<br />
    24. 24. Firewise Strategies: Landscaping with Fuel Breaks in Mind<br />Plan your Firewise landscape!<br />Careful selection of fire-resistant plants can slow the spread of a wildfire and reduce its intensity<br />
    25. 25. Firewise Strategies: Keep radiant heat sources away from the home<br />During fire season, store fire wood at least 30 feet from your house if possible<br />
    26. 26. Firewise Strategies: Keep radiant heat sources away from the home<br />In wooded areas, thin trees and remove accumulations of dead branch and stem wood under and between trees. <br />Within 30 feet of a home limb trees up eight feet above the ground. <br />
    27. 27. Firewise Strategies: Address Ember Danger in Nooks and Crannies<br />Pine needles are unwelcome in your gutters or on your roof<br />
    28. 28. Firewise Landscaping: Maintenance is Important<br />A clean, healthy garden is not a receptive surface for embers<br />Keep plant debris to a minimum…<br />Rake<br />Mow<br />Dispose of debris promptly<br />
    29. 29. What else can we do?<br />Work with our neighbors!<br />Where homes are close enough to ignite one another, neighbors must work together to modify overlapping home ignition zones<br />
    30. 30. The Big Idea<br />Firewise concepts become ingrained and “normal” because we do them every day<br />Firewise concepts can be supported by regulation and codes, but must be embraced by residents <br />Participation is VOLUNTARY <br />
    31. 31. Firewise Welcome Package<br />Recognition signs, plaque<br />Story on the Firewise website<br />Media Kit<br />Quarterly “How To” Newsletter<br />Firewise plant lists<br />“Fire Break” monthly news alert<br />Hill Country near Austin, Texas<br />
    32. 32. Firewise How To Newsletter<br />Peer-to-peer learning<br />Bragging rights<br />
    33. 33. Firewise Resources<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 />
    34. 34. Firewise Resources<br />Firewise Guide to Landscape and Construction<br />Safer From the Start: A Guide to Firewise-Friendly Development<br />Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Hazard Assessment Methodology<br />Communities Compatible with Nature<br />
    35. 35. Firewise Products/ Resources<br />Free Firewise Materials on NFPA Catalog: with FREE shipping!<br />
    36. 36. Firewise Program Benefits<br /><ul><li>Improved relationship with fire services staff
    37. 37. Enhanced neighbor-to-neighbor communication
    38. 38. Healthier and safer landscapes & common area
    39. 39. Improved rankings for grants and program funds</li></ul>Big Bear City, California<br />
    40. 40. The Future of Firewise & NFPA Updates<br />
    41. 41. Firewise/NFPA Updates<br />1000 Firewise Communities Goal<br />12 Firewise State Visits for 2011<br />New Firewise Staff and Regional Firewise Advisors<br />
    42. 42. Firewise/NFPA Updates<br />Updated Website at<br />
    43. 43. Firewise/NFPA Updates<br />Social Media<br />Firewise Blog:<br />Twitter:<br />Facebook:<br />
    44. 44. Firewise/NFPA Updates<br />Media Outreach and Key Messages<br />Saving lives and property from wildfire threats by:<br />Understanding Wildfire<br />Acting Now<br />Taking Ownership<br />Working Together<br />
    45. 45. Firewise/NFPA Updates<br />Backyards & Beyond: Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Education Conference<br />October 27-29, 2011 in Denver, Colorado<br />Keynote speakers on fire research and national policy<br />Aimed at a mix of professionals and community leaders<br /><br />
    46. 46. Firewise/NFPA Updates<br /><ul><li>Partnership with InternationalAssociation of Fire Chiefs on “Ready, Set, Go!”
    47. 47. Stresses personal responsibility to WUI residents
    48. 48. “Ready” message compatible with Firewise & similar prevention/ mitigation programs</li></li></ul><li>Firewise/NFPA Updates<br />Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone Seminar<br />2-day live training offered by NFPA’s Professional Development programs<br />Seminar developed within the Firewise program<br />
    49. 49. HIZ Seminar Overview<br />Characteristics of Home Ignition Zone<br />Factors that increase ignition<br />Hazard assessment methods<br />NFPA wildfire safety standards <br />Options during a wildfire emergency<br />
    50. 50. Fire Adapted Communities<br />National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy<br />Restoring and Maintaining Resilient Landscapes<br />Creating Fire Adapted Communities<br />Response to Wildfire<br />
    51. 51. Fire Adapted Communities<br />“Human communities consisting of informed and prepared citizens collaboratively planning and taking action to safely co-exist with wildland fire.” <br />Community & neighborhood wildfire hazard planning<br />Home ignitability reduction<br />Forest and fuel management<br />Evacuation planning<br />Local capacity needs<br />Funds and grant resources<br />
    52. 52. Firewise/NFPA Updates<br />International Outreach Efforts<br />FireSmart Canada (Partners in Protection)<br />Firewise South Africa (Working on Fire)<br />
    53. 53. Firewise/NFPA Updates<br />WUI Regulatory Study<br />Analyzing use and effectiveness of wildland fire codes and standards in the WUI<br />
    54. 54. NFPA Codes/ Standards Related to Wildfire<br />NFPA 1141, Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Suburban and Rural Areas, 2008 edition<br />NFPA 1142, Standard on Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Fire Fighting, 2007 Edition<br />NFPA 1143, Standard for Wildland Fire Management, 2009 Edition<br />NFPA 1144, Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire, 2008 edition<br />NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code, 2009 Edition<br />Chapter 17, Wildland Urban Interface<br />
    55. 55. Questions? Discussion?<br />Thank You!<br />The NFPA and Firewise Team<br />Michele Steinberg -<br />Patrick Mahoney –<br />Kelly Ransdell– <br />