Wildfire Preparation and Response: National Preparedness Month, Part 2

BLOG POST | Sep 9, 2015

The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service reported on September 8 that there are 37 large incident wildfires (100 acres or more occurring in timber, or a wildfire of 300 acres or more occurring in grass/sage) in the United States. Wildfires present a significant financial and administrative challenge for local governments. A single wildfire can damage a substantial amount of infrastructure, houses, and businesses in a community. As part of the National Preparedness Month blog series, this blog post outlines some useful resources to help prepare for and mitigate the negative impacts of wildfires on a community.

  1. This Knowledge Network document from 2009 provides a comprehensive example from Alachua County, Florida, of a wildfire mitigation program.
  2. An important aspect of preparing for any disaster is developing an evacuation plan. This premium content from ICMA and the Alliance for Innovation provides an example wildfire evacuation model from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  3. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as part of America’s PrepareAthon, developed this resource on how to prepare for a wildfire. This document provides insights for local government officials, citizens, and business owners. On the last page of the document is a list of other useful resources.
  4. The Texas Forest Service developed this wildfire preparedness checklist. A checklist is an easy way to ensure that your citizens are prepared for disasters.
  5. This ICMA premium content outlines the Schultz Community Recovery (SCR) project. The SCR is an innovative project to mitigate the devastating effects of post-wildfire flash flooding in the area near Flagstaff, Arizona.
  6. Headwater Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group whose mission is to improve community development and land management decisions in the West, released this report in 2013 on the rising costs of wildfire protection.
  7. Headwater Economics published this online document in the spring of 2014 on local responses to wildfire risks and costs. This document provides interesting insights and lessons learned from multiple local government case studies.

In your opinion, what is the most important component of a wildfire preparation plan? Share your answers below.

Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Intern


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