Fire and forestry professionals have a new tool to help make communities safer from wildfire. “Conducting a Community Assessment in the Wildland/Urban Interface: Beginning the Firewise Process” is the latest offering of the NFPA‘s Firewise Learning Center. The online course is aimed at fire and forestry professionals and others who may want to help residents of areas at risk from wildfire to make their homes safer.
“People using the course will be able to teach residents of fire-prone areas about wildfire,” said Firewise Communities Support Manager Michele Steinberg. “Course participants can use what they learn to provide a community-wide wildfire hazard assessment for neighborhoods– one of the beginning steps for areas to become recognized as Firewise Communities/USA sites.”
The free online course is organized into eight lessons that describe a tested methodology for conducting community wildfire hazard assessments. It provides learners with a thorough understanding of how homes ignite during wildfires, how simple actions can greatly reduce home ignitions, and how community behavior change can create Firewise homes and communities.
Audio narration, video clips, photos and animated graphics help make a potentially challenging course friendly and accessible. Additional resources include the recommended community assessment template and links to case studies, articles, and relevant Firewise products.
To enroll in any of the Firewise Learning Center courses, visit www.firewise.org and click on “Learning Center” on the top menu bar.
“The Firewise Learning Center is designed to be an educational, empowering resource accessible to everyone who is interested in the issue of wildland fires in the wildland/urban interface,” said Steinberg. “The topics addressed are relevant to both those who own homes in the wildland/urban interface and the fire fighters who work to defend those homes. The new Community Assessment course will be an important tool for those who want to help communities be safer from wildfire.”
The national Firewise Communities program is an interagency program designed to encourage local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire. The Firewise Communities program is managed by the National Fire Protection Association and sponsored by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, a consortium of wildland fire agencies. For more information, visit www.firewise.org.