While most of the United States is watching the slow advance of Isaac across the Gulf of Mexico, there is another national disaster that is still playing itself out - this year's wildfire season isn't over yet. Indeed, there are more than a few fires still burning months after they first started, almost exclusively in the western sections of the country.
Faced with the reality that what we are experiencing this year is not unique, cross community collaborative efforts through the years have worked to develop two programs designed to help the public deal with wildland fires. First is "Firewise", a program that can trace its roots back to 1985 and focuses on how residents along the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) can prepare in advance to maximize the likelihood their home will be able to survive a wildfire in near vicinity. Clearing brush from around a home and cutting back overhanging tree limbs would be two examples of "Firewise" precautions. The second program has only recently come into existence and is called "Ready, Set, Go". While Firewise focuses on actions to be taken before a wildfire arrives, Ready, Set, Go tries to help homeowners understand how to prepare in the event they have to leave. And, even more importantly, understand when to leave. To learn more about these programs, use the links below:
Comments: Both these programs represent a "best practices" approach to public safety - working with the community to help mitigate impacts before disaster strikes.
Lead photo: U.S. Forest Service