Become FireSmart: Speaking to your community about FireSmart
Helping your community understand the risk of wildfire can help community members take actions on their own property.
These actions will help keep you and your fellow firefighters safer in a wildland urban interface fire. Hosting a FireSmart event to discuss the unique conditions, hazards and community values will help your community become informed and take FireSmart actions.
Introduce the concept of wildland fire as natural and essential role in a fire driven ecosystem. Know your community and its unique values and needs.
Use specific examples – show them the fire history in the immediate area over the last 100 years, last 10 years and some recent ignitions. If you have the opportunity to model fire behaviour potential from recent ignitions this can be eye opening for your community.
Use plain language, avoid acronyms and jargon – technical phrasing can seem inaccessible and unfamiliar to the audience, be sure they are connecting with the concepts.
Topics to discuss
- Wildland urban interface risks and responsibilities.
- How homes ignite – most assume that direct flames will affect their home however most homes affected by wildfire are affected by sparks and embers thrown ahead of the fire. 90% of homes damaged or destroyed in a wildfire are ignited by embers.
- Fuels, weather and topography make up the wildfire triangle. Help your community to understand the unique features surrounding and within their community.
- Help them to understand the role they play in managing the issue.
- Introduce FireSmart actions they can take to reduce their wildfire threat.