The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today announced its first Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service to be piloted in Colorado on Saturday, May 4, 2013.
The Day of Service is being promoted in coordination with the American Red Cross, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, READYColorado, and Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. The event coincides with the International Association of Wildland Fire’s Global Wildfire Awareness Week and provides a unique opportunity for Colorado residents to get involved and take action against the threat of wildland fire across the state. Last year, the U.S. experienced one of the worst wildfire years on record, topping nine million acres burned according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), and Colorado experienced more than 300 fires that included last summer’s Waldo Canyon Fire, which destroyed 345 homes and forced the evacuation of over 30,000 residents.
During this Day of Service, Colorado residents are encouraged to participate in wildfire mitigation projects including a chipping day, public awareness events, brush clean up and more. A list of project ideas is available at Firewise.org/dayofservice. Projects range from a short time commitment up to an entire day and can be undertaken by individuals or groups. Each one was designed to bring residents together to take action and reduce their risk of wildfire damage to their homes, neighborhoods and communities. Residents of all ages are invited to join in the effort with a special emphasis placed on teens who have the potential to receive community service credit hours for their efforts.
In some areas, organized group projects may be available to join. For more information on these groups, visit the Firewise Facebook page. Participants are encouraged to post their own project ideas and plans on the page as they become available. Community projects in nearby areas can also be viewed on an interactive project map that will be available as local projects are developed.
For Colorado communities officially recognized through the Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program, participating in the Day of Service can count towards their 2013 “Firewise Day” event. More information about the recognition program can be found online through the Firewise website.
NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division provides information and resources through the Firewise® Communities Program and Fire Adapted Communities® initiative (both co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service), education, training, conferences, workshops and courses to community residents to help them reduce their risk of wildfire damage to homes and property