Dr. Elwood Miller helps you understand the question: What is a Fire Adapted Community?
As coordinator of the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities, I keep hearing the questions, “What is a Fire Adapted Community?” and “How do you become one?” These questions keep coming up in conferences, small group meetings and individual conversations. By now, numerous definitions have been developed which undoubtedly leads to more confusion and more questions. Rather than develop yet another definition, I thought a focus on the core concepts may be more helpful. At the heart of the term, Fire Adapted Community is a mission of survival; survival of people and the place they call home. And, not only survival, but survival achieved with a minimum involvement of firefighters and their suppression resources. But, how is that possible? The answer is pre-fire preparation. In other words, a Fire Adapted Community is one that is fully prepared for the occurrence of wildfire. It is one where a community of like-minded residents has worked to instill a culture of fire in their community. It is one where the people have envisioned what it will be like when flames, blowing embers and smoke surround their homes and envelope their neighborhoods and they have mentally prepared themselves for that occurrence. They have fully accepted their vulnerability and have developed plans to take the steps necessary to ensure their survival. More than that, they have also taken action to modify their house and the fuels that surround it to make it as difficult as possible for fires to ignite, grow and spread. In doing this they not only increase the probability that they and their home will survive but they also greatly increase the element of safety for the firefighters that do arrive to provide assistance. Create unity with pre-fire preparation that is broadly accepted, supported, and applied. That is the key to becoming a Fire Adapted Community. Detailed information on what you need to do, and how to prepare your home and community for wildfire is available at LivingWithFire.info. Join the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities to connect with others facing the same vulnerability and seeking to increase their chances of survival. Being fully prepared is what being fire adapted is all about.