Living Dangerously in an Era of Megafires 

We have all seen the news--hotter summers, and bigger, badder wildfires. What's going on? How did we get here?Paul tells a fast-paced story of western US forests--unintentionally yet massively changed by a century of management. He relates how these changes, coupled with a seriously hotter climate, have set the stage for this modern era of megafires. He offers clear tools for changing course, a sense of urgency, and a thought-provoking call to community action.

As an expert on forest landscapes, Paul Hessburg aims to understand why wildfires are getting bigger and hotter, and how they got that way. Hessburg has spent more than 3 decades researching changes that have taken place in the fire-prone western landscapes, what caused them, and how they differ from place to place. Along with a revved up climate, these changes have created conditions ripe for the rise of what he and others call megafires. How do our forest management techniques affect the legacy we leave our children? Hessburg’s recent book, Making Transparent Environmental Management Decisions, offers compelling new insights into using modern-day decision support systems to plan for forest restoration.

 

Becoming A Firewise Community


This video provides the necessary information and steps on how residential developments can become a recognized Firewise® community. A review of selected communities that have received recognition helps explain the Firewise standards and the recognition process.

 

Making Your Home Firewise


This video presents ideas and techniques for homeowners when constructing or modifying home in the wildland/urban interface areas. Topics covered in the video are: Roof, Windows, Eaves, Decks, and Landscaping. The video also provides information that a prevention officer or anyone with cooperative duties can use in a presentation or as a basis of discussion for various local groups

 

Home Improvement: A Firewise Approach


This home improvement and landscaping video documents one home's journey to becoming Firewise®. The video discusses and illustrates in detail each stage of the landscaping and construction renovations of the home to meet Firewise criteria including types of vegetation, placement and thinning as well as construction elements such as noncombustible roof, siding, windows, and fencing.

 

Wildfire: Prevent Home Ignition Part 1 & 2

Wildfire! Preventing Home Ignitions is based on the research of Jack Cohen, Physical Research Scientist, of the U.S. Forest Service. It explains the combustion process and wildfire behavior, what you can do to create survivable space, and why some homes are destroyed while others survive. It also discusses how to identify your home's Ignition Zone - the area that includes the home and its immediate surroundings, which, if properly conditioned, can save the home during a wildfire.

 

 

Preparing for a wildfire PSA - The difference from Firewise.org


Little things can make a big difference during a wildfire. Research shows that homes are often lost after the main body of a fire passes. Most of these ignitions are preventable, so advanced preparation is critical.


 

 

Living with Fire

Be Ember Aware

The Be Ember Aware program components were developed to help you and members of your community learn about the danger of embers during a wildfire and what you can do to reduce the risk. Begin with the interactive program below and continue with the additional program materials listed underneath. Click on the Photo to Learn more!

The Be Ember Aware program components were developed to help you and members of your community learn about the danger of embers during a wildfire and what you can do to reduce the risk. Begin with the interactive program below and continue with the additional program materials listed underneath. Click on the Photo to Learn more!

 

More About the Wildfire Risk Assessment

The assessment or evaluation of your community’s wildfire risk is important. Until you learn more about what a brush, grass or forest fire can do in your area, it’s difficult to plan for it.Your state liaison can help direct you to experts who can conduct an evaluation for your community. Your local fire department may also be able to assist.Learn more about what goes into an assessment by reviewing our Firewise USA™ program User Guide (PDF) or taking the online course, “Conducting Community Assessments in the Wildland/Urban Interface: Beginning the Firewise Process.”

Download a Community Assessment Template to use as a resource by residents for creating a wildfire safety action plan.