Ask a Chief: What does it mean to be ‘Firewise?’

Q: What does it mean to be ‘Firewise?’
A: The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities Program is an educational platform for wildfire safety. It teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action on how to prevent losses.
The Firewise Communities Program offers a number of workshops and free online training. As communities continue to develop, many homeowners find themselves situated close to densely forested areas, posing a potential threat if a wildfire were to occur. The Firewise Communities Program gives homeowners living in this “urban interface” tips and tools to protect lives and property during a wildfire.  For instance, one of the key components of the program is educating the community about how landscaping and building design/construction play a critical role during a wildfire.
For more information on the Firewise program, visit www.firewise.org. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources also has information available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/firewise/index.html. — T. John Cunningham, Elk River fire chief

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