On May 4th we celebrated Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. Its purpose is to promote wildfire preparation in communities throughout the US. This year, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) and State Farm awarded 150 project teams with $500 to help fund their own wildfire risk reduction activities. The awards were given to incentivize individual communities to implement prevention techniques and education as they see fit.
The NFPA started this day with a focus on how the public can better interact with the natural world and help to prevent wildfires. Wildfires have been a part of history for as long as we have recorded, but with an increased number of humans in wildland areas, it is frequently causing problems. Human activity within campsites can cause wildfires to spark easily. The NFPA hopes that the day will spread knowledge to people of how to work with their communities and fire agencies in preparation and prevention of fires. In response to the catastrophic wildfires of the 2018 season, this year the governor of California declared a Wildfire Preparedness Week.
The public can participate by involvement with local fire agencies and volunteering- there are often many types of tasks and opportunities within agencies. Spending time in nature can foster appreciation for forests and wildland, which encourages people to take care of our forests. Residents can clean up around their homes or areas where wildfires could easily spark to observe the day. Including children is a great way to educate them about the risk of wildfire and how easily they are started in whatever area you live, even if you live in an urban area.
Are you engaging your community as wildfire season approaches? You don’t need to wait until the next Preparedness day to promote wildfire safety with the public.
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