Evolving Risk in Public and Firefighter Safety

We need a Paradigm Shift: Prepare, Stay, and Defend as a viable option

The challenge of increased wildland fires impacting human communities requires a dramatic paradigm shift in how wildland urban interface (WUI) residents are viewed and what is expected of them. The failed paradigm of WUI residents as helpless victims of fire must be completely banished. In the new paradigm, WUI residents will be highly pro-active participants in protecting their homes and their lives. All WUI residents will be educated on how to prepare their homes to survive fires, based solidly on both sound ecological principles and scientific research into fire behavior and structure ignitability. Additionally, all able-bodied WUI residents will be trained, equipped, and expected to stay and defend their homes in all but the most intense fire events. All persons unable to perform these tasks will evacuate far in advance of an approaching fire. Fire agencies will formally notify residents that suppression resources will respond only to homes/communities that are adequately prepared. (attachment)

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Idea No. 10