Building Local Capacity in Deschutes County

  Written By: Project Wildfire Building a sustainable cadre of stakeholders who can effectively and eagerly communicate messages about preparedness poses a constant challenge. For those working on becoming more fire adapted, having local capacity is vital to accomplishing work on the ground. Deschutes County residents have recently engaged in a couple of innovative approaches designed to give more empowerment to local stakeholders and further the reach of the organizations and agencies in central Oregon. A large piece of building capacity is to surpass barriers that prevent mitigation being accomplished in the highest risk areas. In Deschutes County one barrier … Continue reading

Building Momentum for FAC in Southern New Jersey

A few weeks ago, I attended Barnegat Township, New Jersey’s annual wildfire preparedness meeting. In addition to giving a presentation on the national FAC effort and the FAC Learning Network, I met many local FAC leaders. Like many other similar meetings I’ve attended, there were participants from local, state and federal agencies, as well as community members and officials and at least one journalist. (You can read his article here.) John Cowie, Barnegat Fire Company’s fire prevention specialist, organized the meeting and served as moderator. Maureen Brooks (USDA Forest Service) and Shawn Stokes (International Association of Fire Chiefs) gave presentations, as … Continue reading

Principles of Network Thinking

If you are a FAC hub, local coordinating partner, or other agency involved in the FAC Learning Network, chances are that someone has asked you what the FAC Network is all about. For some of us, it can be difficult to quickly put the myriad ideas and benefits of a network into context for our peers. We want to explain what we mean by a network, how it is different from other types of professional interactions, and why commitment to it is so important for its success – all within a few concise sentences. An article from Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) … Continue reading

Fire Department Crews Work with Community

Written by: John Pickett, Forester, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Creating defensible space has been proven to reduce the chance a home will ignite during a wildland fire. Yet many residents do not complete work on their own property even when exposed to consistent education and outreach campaigns.  The reasons many homeowners do not create defensible space are numerous but include cost, difficulty of disposing of material and in many cases simple fatalism.  Many homeowners state that there is no reason to complete defensible space work if their neighbor hasn’t also done the work because their house is just going to burn anyway. … Continue reading

National Wildfire Preparedness Day is May 2, 2015

Yesterday the National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA) announced that the next National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day will take place May 2. NFPA is partnering with State Farm and the Fire Adapted Communities program again this year to encourage homeowners and communities to reduce their wildfire risk. According to a press release issued yesterday, “projects on May 2 can range from a short time commitment up to an entire day and can be undertaken by individuals, families or groups. Potential projects include hosting a chipping day, distributing wildfire safety information to neighbors, organizing brush clean up and more. Residents of all … Continue reading

A Model for the Future of Fire Management

If you have a Facebook account head over to the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council and Salmon River & Orleans Complexities pages to learn more about the TREX prescribed fire training event currently being hosted on the Klamath. Posts on the sites include updates and accomplishments from the event to date and a selection of fantastic pictures. For those of you who don’t have a Facebook account here are some of the highlights: “This week inaugurates the first annual Klamath River Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX). This TREX has opened the hearts and minds of community members and practitioners alike. 50+ participants with a wide range … Continue reading

Decades of Progress – Promoting Forest Treatments and Public Support

by Anne Mottek Lucas No community becomes fire adapted overnight – often it takes decades of concerted effort to foster collaboration and overcome disagreements, public opposition and other obstacles. While promoting forest restoration and community fire resilience in Flagstaff, Arizona, we have learned persistence is the key. First, a little history. Coinciding with Euro-American settlement, degradation of southwestern forests can be attributed to livestock overgrazing and high-grade logging. Beginning in the early 1900’s, forest conditions were further exacerbated by fire suppression. The continual decline of forest health was hastened by the onset of prolonged drought in the 1990’s. Flagstaff is … Continue reading

Briefing Paper: CWPPs in the American West

The Ecosystem Workforce Program (EWP) recently released a briefing paper that examined 113 Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) in ten western states affected by large wildfires between 2004 and 2011. The research primarily focused on analyzing these CWPPs to better understand plan variability. The analysis found a wide range of plans and strategies that varied in terms of structure (e.g., length), content (e.g., risk reduction, institutional and implementation strategies) and development (e.g., consultant involvement or community-driven).  For example, plans ranged from nine to 339 pages in length and the number of stakeholders involved also varied considerably. There were also commonalities: the majority … Continue reading