While this summer's raging wildfires continue to damage homes and property in a number of U.S. states, an array of organizations are simultaneously promoting preventive tactics aimed at resisting future hazards. Prompting this endeavor is the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), which has entered into a new agreement with NFPA to transform entire neighborhoods into wildland fire-resistant areas.
Launched in June, the Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) initiative links the two entities with eight other organizations aimed at assisting the 70,000 U.S. communities in wildfire-prone areas develop all-encompassing action plans for wildfire mitigation. Pam Leschak, FAC program manager with the USFS, chatted with NFPA Journal about the collaboration and why mitigation is crucial--and cost-saving--in the long run.
She tells the magazine: We’re now looking at fire on the landscape year round. When a fire involves a community in the wildland/urban interface (WUI), certain issues—homes, infrastructure, cultural resources, evacuation, structural protection—add complexity to an already complicated situation. I don’t think people understand there’s something they can do in order to prepare. They can help themselves and their communities.
Leschak also discusses why NFPA's Firewise® Communities Program is a vital component of FAC. Read the interview in the latest edition of NFPA Journal, and check out the video of Molly Mowery, NFPA's FAC program manager, providing an overview of the new initiative: