Recent Fire Shows Need for Toolkit
The Fort McMurray wildland fire that is burning out of control in the Canadian Province of Alberta has certainly been eye opening regarding just how dangerous wildland urban interface fires can be ~ and just how unprepared many communities are for these fires. The U.S. Fire Administration wants to close the gap on understanding how to plan, prepare for, and adapt to wildland urban interface fires and recently made a resource available to do just that.
Wildland Urban Interface Toolkit
Last week, the U.S. Fire Administration released the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) toolkit to help fire departments prepare for and respond to wildland urban interface fires. The website consists of resources that cover various aspects of preparedness such as a community self assessment tool for determining the level of fire adaptation and land use planning to help reduce the risk of wildfires.
After touching upon community and land use planning, the toolkit offers more than 20 courses covering a variety of WUI topics that include fire fighting tactics, wildland fire behavior, and incident command. The website offers a variety of options for taking offered courses, including on or off campus, online, or self-study.
Other tools also include WUI codes and standards, including wildland firefighter qualifications, respirators, protective clothing, equipment, and standards on wildland fire management along with its prevention, mitigation, preparation, and suppression. Some of the NFPAs (National Fire Protection Association) codes and standards are available online free of charge, however majority of the publications are available for purchase.
Ready, Set, Go!
The Ready, Set, Go! portion of the toolkit provides guidance and resources to help fire departments teach their communities and citizens how to be prepared for a wildland fire. It offers a variety of fact sheets, coloring booklets, postcards, door hangers, and other resources to help share information in a simple to use and easy to understand format. Much of the kit is also available in Spanish.
The Ready, Set, Go! program provides specific information that can be taught to communities, and also delivered via a publication that outlines ways to create a fire resistant home, an individual action guide, and how to get ready, be prepared, and act early (Ready, Set, Go!).
The site further provides predesigned and downloadable messages to share on Facebook and Twitter, and links to other wildland fire websites, including federal agencies and the Red Cross Wildfire App.