City of Santa Fe Holds Evacuation Drill

Written by: Greg Strick Introduction and Considerations by Michelle Medley-Daniel. Most of us have participated in an elementary school fire drill or emergency bus evacuation. Public schools are required to hold drills, in part because actually enacting an evacuation plan can help surface issues or important considerations that would otherwise go unnoticed in the theoretical space of “the plan.” But while drills are worthwhile, they are no easy task to pull off particularly when scaled up to service a whole community. Greg Strick of Santa Fe, NM recently shared his account of the evacuation drill conducted by the City of … Continue reading

Resilience Resources to Ramp Up your Community’s Fire Adaptation Work

I’m always on the lookout for resilience resources, and the Twitter search phrases that most consistently produce resources that I find helpful in my job are “disaster resilience” and “community resilience.” Over the past year or so, tweets have directed me to dozens of organizations, publications and programs related to improving disaster resilience in communities around the world. Below are some of my favorites. About the Torrens Resilience Institute The Torrens Resilience Institute exists “to improve the capacity of organizations and societies to respond to disruptive challenges which have the potential to overwhelm local disaster management capabilities and plans.” This … Continue reading

Insights to Ensure Economic Sustainability of Mitigation Projects

Written by: Jon Bruno, Chief Operating Officer, Coalition for the Upper South Platte The mission of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) is to “protect the water quality and ecological health of the Upper South Platte Watershed, through the cooperative efforts of watershed stakeholders, with emphasis placed on community values and economic sustainability.” This mission has been the guiding principle that I have used over the years for CUSP’s work and endeavors. This blog will explore economic sustainability as it relates to working with forest contractors. Over the years, CUSP has engaged many forest contractors.  Without our numerous, … Continue reading

Baker County Hosts Fire Adapted Communities Seminar

Written by: Doc Bloodworth, Mitigation Specialist & Annaleasa Winter, Mitigation Specialist Baker County, Florida, one of the FAC Network’s pilot communities, recently hosted a Fire Adapted Communities Seminar and Luncheon at the agricultural extension office in Macclenny, Florida. Baker County has undertaken significant efforts to identify and reduce wildfire risk though out the county, and this seminar was an opportunity to engage community members in the work. In total, 46 community and forestry representatives attended the three-hour event. Baker County Fire Chief Steve Marfongella opened the presentations by welcoming attendees and introducing the speakers, Florida State Forester Jim Karels and National … Continue reading

Changing Perspectives to Better Understand FAC

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in Nevada’s first annual “Network of Fire Adapted Communities” conference. This new statewide effort is being coordinated by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire program. The conference was packed with engaging ways to bring stakeholders together in order to launch a new network of communities while continuing Nevada’s commitment to implementing FAC principles across its wildland-urban interface. The conference highlighted important FAC learning opportunities through creative audience participation (think “FAC Jeopardy”), and speakers clarified how this new Nevada network differs from the former Nevada Fire Safe Councils while … Continue reading

Forest Service Recognizes Accomplishments of Diverse Collaborative in Idaho/Montana

On October 22, 2014 the Island Park/West Yellowstone Sustainable Fire Community (IPSFC) received the Conserving Open Space award from the USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region. The award was one of 10 Regional Forester Awards given each year to recognize Forest Service individuals, work units, partners or groups who have made exemplary contributions to management of the Intermountain Region. The selections are made from nominations across the region. Formed in 2011, IPSFC joined the FAC Learning Network earlier this year. The group is also one of three Western Region Cohesive Strategy demonstration sites. The award recognized IPSFC “for promoting community awareness of living with … Continue reading

Local FAC Leaders Gather for a Peer-Learning Session in Taos NM

Written By: Matt Piccarello, Forest Guild On October 21st, Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) leaders from throughout Northern New Mexico gathered in Taos for the New Mexico Hub of the FAC Learning Network (FACLN) peer-learning workshop. A diverse group of 37 participants were in attendance from 23 different organizations including Firewise community members, elected officials, local fire departments, state and federal officials, and local businesses. The number of participants allowed for productive small group discussions. Anne Bradley, Forest Conservation Program Director for The New Mexico Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) kicked off the workshop with a welcome address and overview … Continue reading

FireWise of Southwest Colorado Gives Neighborhoods a KICKSTART!

Written By: Pam Wilson, Executive Director, FireWise of Southwest Colorado.  For six years, FireWise of Southwest Colorado has given neighborhoods that are new to participating in our tri-county FireWise Ambassador program the opportunity to receive a Kickstart grant to complete a community wildfire mitigation project. “We’ve found this to be a great way to get mitigation activities going in a neighborhood,” said Pam Wilson, Executive Director.  “Most homeowners often do additional work on their own once they see how good it can look.” The type(s) of projects awarded depends on where the Kickstart funds come from. In 2014, only fuels-reduction … Continue reading