Evolving Risk in Public and Firefighter Safety

Fire Protection from the House out, rather than from the Wildland in

Research has clearly demonstrated that the most effective way to protect lives, property, and the natural environment from wildland fire is to focus directly on making communities more fire safe rather than spending millions of dollars clearing habitat far from assets at risk. This provides for long-term solutions rather than endlessly trying to modify the natural environment. Fuel treatments can provide some benefit, ...more »

Submitted by (@richardw.halsey)

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41 votes
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Evolving Risk in Public and Firefighter Safety

WUI risk for all will just get bigger & worse unless land use planning changes

WUI, and exurban intermix areas will keep expanding as populations grow. Firefighters will protect lives and property in communities that haven't been built yet. Citizens and their local governments will determine (actively or by default) where and how fire safe they will be. Current research (cafiresci.org/wui) suggests specific ways to locate, plan, and construct new communities in order to reduce their exposure to ...more »

Submitted by (@robertstaylor)

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31 votes
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"Wild Card" Issues

Control Future WUI Development

In the West, 84% of the WUI is yet undeveloped, the housing market has picked up once more, and with climate change as an accelerator, there is an urgent need to find solutions that impact the pattern, scale, and pace of future development in the WUI. It will be difficult to control the rising costs, damages, and dangers related to home development in the WUI unless there are negative financial consequences for private ...more »

Submitted by (@ray000)

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31 votes
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"Wild Card" Issues

Complete restructuring of forest and fire management is vital!

I am really distressed about the disconnect between forest ecology/fire ecology and the status quo of forest and fire management. These two professions work on the same issues yet worlds apart. Forest management must shift to creating more resilient ecosystems rather than waiting until there is a wildfire and sending in the cavalry. Fuels/forest management funding is constantly being cut, but wildfire may soon qualify ...more »

Submitted by (@sandra.rideouthanzak)

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26 votes
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Evolving Risk in Public and Firefighter Safety

The Insurance Industry Should Help Reduce WUI Wildfire Losses

While most insurance policies cover losses from wildfires, the insurance industry could do a lot more to reduce the losses and costs from wildfires - much like they do for flooding or hurricanes. For example, they could require or give discounts for mitigating hazards and using "Firewise" practices; give discounts for using fire proof materials in construction or remodeling, especially roofing; and conduct periodic ...more »

Submitted by (@gamlam1107)

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23 votes
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"Wild Card" Issues

Community-based Fire Management

We need to expand community engagement before, during and after fires. No more dropping into somebody's homeland for 14 days, leaving and rarely coming back to visit. The US system of firefighting was never designed to create fire adapted communities and resilient ecosystems. To achieve those, we need to integrate serious, longterm partnerships between firefighting forces and local communities . . . much more than the ...more »

Submitted by (@mhuffman)

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20 votes
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Evolving Risk in Public and Firefighter Safety

Utilizing Private Industry to its capacity.

Would like to see a path developed to utilize the Professional Private industry in the roles of Type 1 Hand Crews as well as filling overhead positions. The capability is there but not currently being utilized. There is a concern about succession within the agencies, and the private industry could help fill this gap.

Submitted by (@nationalwildfiresuppressionassociation)

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19 votes
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Evolving Risk in Public and Firefighter Safety

Develop a set of common sense wildfire prevention ordinances

There is a need to look at ways to decrease the rising costs of wildfire suppression due to human caused ignitions that put communities and firefighters at risk. Some possible actions to explore include: 1. Implementing coordinated information and education sharing methods regarding successful state and local government community growth management planning and enforcement that results in sustainable wildfire risk reduction ...more »

Submitted by (@gamlam1107)

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17 votes
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Evolving Risk in Public and Firefighter Safety

Prevent Scope Creep in Wildland operations when WUI becomes involved

Increasingly, Wildland firefighters find themselves in the midst of dynamic environments in the WUI assigned to tasks that they have not trained for. Type 1 IC's even recently commented at the WUI summit that "we now have type 1 crews cutting decks off of burning houses and running bulldozers through backyards" to do structure protection. IC's must have the courage and integrity to avoid assigning resources where they ...more »

Submitted by (@r1elliot)

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15 votes
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Technology and Program Infrastructure

Paying for fuels reduction with a biomass market

First, we need to look at forest biomass as a renewable, clean energy source. Burning those doghair thickets of pine will release the same CO2 whether in a wildfire that threatens life and property, or in a smokestack with catalytic scrubbers and electric/heat generation. Second, we need to weigh the cost of fighting those wildfires versus the cost of thinning and hauling ladder fuels STRATEGICALLY within 100’ of existing ...more »

Submitted by (@aedean)

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13 votes
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"Wild Card" Issues

Forest Plant Communities have different fire needs

Mixed Sierran Conifer forest has understory shrubs in healthy condition. Jeffrey Pine forest understory is dominated by grasses and annual forbs. Douglas Fir forests have dense understories of shrubs. Many shrubs and all annuals and many perennials are obligate seeders, not crown resprouters, and can be extirpated by frequent ground fires. In short, the relationship of fire to these different healthy forests is different, ...more »

Submitted by (@kaytaff)

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12 votes
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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 ...more »

Submitted by (@julierogers03)

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12 votes
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