Wildfire Awareness Month starts May 1 – Is your community prepared for wildfire?

This home seems to have little hope of surviving this wildfire without defensible space. PHOTO BY Keep Oregon Green
This home seems to have little hope of surviving this wildfire without defensible space. PHOTO BY Keep Oregon Green

Wildfire Awareness Month begins today, and it’s time to take responsibility for your family and your property! Every year, catastrophic wildfires threaten Washington. Is your community prepared for wildfire?

This year, six governors from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and California have joined together to proclaim Wildfire Awareness Month. It’s an important month to learn more about collaboration in local communities to become better prepared for wildfire.

As more and more people live in and around forests, grasslands, shrub lands, and other natural areas – places referred to as the wildland-urban interface (WUI) – the fire-related challenges of managing wildlands are on the increase.

The WUI is commonly described as the zone where development meets and intermingles with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels. This WUI zone poses tremendous risks to life, property, and infrastructure in associated communities and is one of the most dangerous and complicated situations firefighters face.

We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other from the risk of wildfire. To save lives and property from wildfire, the Firewise Communities® Program (www.firewise.org) teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action to prevent losses.

In order for a community to take full advantage of this new opportunity, it must first prepare a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Local wildfire protection plans can take a variety of forms, based on the needs of the people involved in their planning and development. Community Wildfire Protection Plans may address issues such as wildfire response, hazard mitigation, community preparedness, or structure protection—or all of the above.

Did you know that one out of three homes nationwide is in wildfire country?

You can find more resources and tips on how to prepare for wildfire at DNR’s wildfire prevention website.

 

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