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Be a Fire Wise know it all

Robert Hudson Westover
U.S. Forest Service
September 20, 2016 at 2:00pm

A poster that says get ready, be prepared, be firewise

Get Ready, Be Prepared, Be Firewise

You’ve heard this from us during previous fire seasons, and you’ll continue to hear it from us every fire season: You can never be Fire Wise enough. And, with this being National Preparedness Month, you’re going to hear it a lot. 

The theme this year for National Preparedness Month is “Don’t Wait, Communicate.  Make your Emergency Plan Today”. This straight forward theme makes it very clear that planning is crucial to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property against wildfire.

The U.S. Forest Service wants us all to hear and understand this message because, simply, it saves lives and property and makes the job of the heroic firefighting crews a lot safer for them so they can come home to their families. 

So what is being Fire Wise and what do you need to know? 

One of the first steps is learning where you live. What do we mean by this? It’s understanding what type of landscaping you have around your property. For instance, are those pines just a little too close to your house? Should you really have a wood shingled roof in the fire-prone area where you live? 

Another step in beefing up your Fire Wise knowledge skills is connecting with neighbors and sharing what you’ve learned and learning what they know. You might be surprised what fire prevention tips can make all the difference in protecting your home and neighborhood. 

And, this year, National Preparedness Month focuses on training youth and helping the elderly in understanding what they can do to be fire wise as well. 

So often when TV film crews scan a devastated neighborhood after a sudden wildfire overtook it, we see the image of one or two homes that survived. From what I’ve learned about being Fire Wise, I can pretty much guess that those homeowners had prepared for the very day that this might happen by being Fire Wise. 

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