Building Mitigation Contractor Capacity in Southwest Colorado

The group looking at actions to be taken in Zones 2 and 3 on a steep hillside near the home. Photo credit: Dan Wand, Colorado State Forest Service.

Written By: Bill Trimarco, Archuleta Chapter Coordinator, FireWise of Southwest Colorado Archuleta County is a sparsely populated area in the southwest corner of Colorado. The 12,000 residents live mainly near the town of Pagosa Springs. Of the 860,000 acres within the county, about two-thirds are managed by the USDA Forest Service, the state and the Southern Ute tribe. The area has been economically challenged for decades before that term was coined. Like much of the Mountain West, it has been ripe for development over the last couple of decades. Sixty-four percent of the homes here are second homes, mostly built … Continue reading

Central Oregon is Preparing for Fire Season

The local meterologist, Bob Shaw at today's TREX event. Photo Credit: Alison Green

Written By: Alison Green, Program Coordinator, Project Wildfire FireFree is the flagship program of Project Wildfire.  This educational campaign culminates in a call-to-action event each spring to hopefully motivate local residents to create or maintain their defensible space. It allows for residents to dispose of the yard debris generated by wildfire preparedness activities easily and cost effectively. Did we mention our spring event is FREE? Prior to 2015, the average amount of yard debris collected came in around 21,500 cubic yards. Last year’s event brought in a record-breaking amount of almost 30,000 cubic yards. Our local residents proved that they have been listening. … Continue reading

National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day 2015

Photo Credit: Ashley Lara

FAC Learning Network members use our online project management space in a variety of ways. They share resources, ask each other questions, and provide lessons learned. After this year’s National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, FAC Net participants shared stories and photos from their community events. See excerpts from those stories and photos below! Jonathan Bruno, Coalition for the Upper South Platte “We had a great day on Saturday for National Wildfire Preparedness Day! A short recap of our project: On May 2, thirty USAFA cadets assisted at the Community Wildfire Preparedness Day in Palmer Lake. Under the direction of The Coalition for the … Continue reading

Steak & Taters In Boise: Hosting Austin Firefighters

Idaho Firewise Garden Tour
Credit: J. McAdams

Written By: Captain Jerry McAdams, Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator & Fire Inspector, Boise Fire Department Last week, the Boise Fire Department had the privilege of hosting eight firefighters from the Austin Fire Department. The Austin firefighters were in Boise as part of a learning exchange sponsored by the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network. We discussed policy, methodology, hurdles and implementation of mitigation activities, and wildfire operations. On Monday, Justice Jones, FAC Program Manager for the Austin Fire Department Wildfire Division, spoke at our 3rd Annual Southwest Idaho Wildfire Mitigation Forum. We had approximately 60 people in attendance, which included Federal agency partners, fire … Continue reading

Fire on the Mountain: Towns County Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

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Written By: Frank M. Riley, Jr., Executive Director, Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D Council March and April are the spring wildfire months here in the north Georgia mountains. The wildfire that we will have one day might not be as spectacular as the massive fires out West, but if just one house burns because of a wildfire it is a tragedy just the same. Wildfire education is a never-ending, year-round process and our team works on it at every opportunity. Wildfire education is like riding a bicycle: if you stop pedaling you will slow to a stop and fall off, so we have to … Continue reading

NJ: Sharing Wildfire Lessons with the UK

Surrey, County, UK is located on the bottom right area of the map.

Written By: Bill Brash, Director, Mercer County Soil Conservation District Alan Clark, a Surrey County, England firefighter, and his wife Heather visited Barnegat Township, New Jersey on a trip designed as an information sharing session between New Jersey and UK wildland firefighters. What began two years ago as an exchange of e-mail addresses at the 2014 WUI Conference in Reno, Nevada continued with Alan visiting America once again as the guest of District Firewarden John Cowie in Barnegat, NJ. Alan, concerned about the risk of wildfire in his home county of Surrey, was seeking guidance and suggestions from New Jersey’s wildland firefighters … Continue reading

Building Prescribed Fire Capacity in New Mexico

Getting ready to burn, filling the drip torch with fuel. Photo Credit Mike Caggiano

By Mike Caggiano, Project Manager In 2011 and 2012, two local efforts, one in northern New Mexico, and one in southern New Mexico leveraged the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP)  to help spark a statewide controlled burning movement in at-risk communities. Both collaborative efforts saw cooperative burning as critical for ecological restoration, community protection and improved local capacity. In northern New Mexico, the Forest Guild, a FAC Learning Network regional hub organization, worked with The Nature Conservancy and State Land Office to host two prescribed fire training exchanges (TREX). They brought in students from academic institutions and firefighters from local … Continue reading

Combining Art & Science to Build Support for FAC in Arizona

Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy students help educate younger kids about forest and fire issues. Credit Rick Johnson Photography

Written By Anne Mottek-Lucas, GFFP Board Member; Private Consultant-Forest Health Restoration/Social Science Research The Yellow Belly Ponderosa (YBP) project combines culture, art and science to help convey a lifelong connection to, and understanding of, sustainable forests and watersheds. The program, delivered as an interactive play, reached elementary schools throughout northern Arizona. A talking “yellow belly” ponderosa pine (in the Southwest, this is the term we use for a large, old ponderosa pine) told tales about forest health and restoration, stewardship of our natural resources, the value of science, wildfire mitigation and safety, flash flood safety, and the connection of our forests to … Continue reading