Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network

 
 

Aerial view of the Aztec Springs, New Mexico, pile burning project. Photo Credit: Porfirio Chavarria

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a fire adapted community (FAC)?

Fire adapted communities are groups of professionals, citizens and agency staff working together to:

  • Take collaborative action to protect their community before, during and after wildfires;
  • Assess their community’s situation regularly and adjust their actions accordingly. Adapting to the role of fire in the landscape requires cultural change and is a long-term undertaking, and it is different for every community;
  • Involve multiple scales of collaboration and partnership;
  • Become part of a growing, global movement aimed at helping communities become more resilient to (able to bounce back from) disasters of any type.

Is “fire adapted communities” just a new name for Firewise?

No. The Firewise Communities USA Recognition program is just one of many strategies or tools a community can use to increase its level of fire adaptation. Additional strategies for preparing for wildfire include evacuation planning (such as Ready, Set, Go!), developing and updating community wildfire protection plans, and reducing flammable vegetation that could threaten infrastructure. “Fire adapted communities” is not an all-inclusive program; rather, it represents a new, holistic and adaptive approach to help communities live safely with wildfires.

How can my community be recognized for our fire adaptation work?

The communities shown on various maps (including the map on this website) represent places that are interested in fire adaptation and want to connect to other people and places working on these issues. The map simply depicts the network of engaged people and places and does not indicate a “level” of activity, or provide information about conditions in those locations. There is no formal fire adapted communities recognition program. Anyone, anywhere could be taking fire adaptation actions.

What’s the best way to learn more about fire adapted communities?

The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network site is focused on helping connect people and communities working on fire adaptation. From this site, you can become an Affiliate Member of the network, sign up for our monthly newsletter, subscribe to our twice-weekly blog feed, access Network resources, and peruse our member directory to learn more about participating individuals and groups. Many additional organizations and agencies provide tools for communities that are working on fire adaptation. You can learn more about the range of available resources at www.fireadapted.org.

How can I join the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network?

Anyone interested in the practices of fire adapted communities can become an Affiliate Member by creating a profile.

The more committed and deeper level of engagement, Core Membership, is by invitation only. Core Members determine areas of emphasis and actively contribute to the Network’s mission by convening sub-networks, participating in Communities of Practice, developing resources and working to help their communities become more fire adapted. The Network provides limited financial and staff support for certain activities that contribute to improving the practice of FAC nationally, help strengthen and grow the Network and strategically help their communities become more fire adapted. Members meet in person annually, and each member has an annual work plan.

If your community is interested in learning more about Core Membership, please email us at info@fireadaptednetwork.org.

How can a learning network make a difference in wildfire outcomes?

The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network is an example of a “generative social-impact network,” which is defined as “a set of people who voluntarily organize themselves for collective action to solve a large, complex social problem” (Plastrik et al. 2014). Unlike coalitions or alliances, generative networks are tackling problems that require a good deal of time and adaptive management to address. The members develop powerful, enduring relationships, and members (vs. staff) do most of the group’s work. The long-term, cooperative, and nimble nature of this generative network makes it ideal for addressing the dynamic problem of community resiliency to wildfire.

The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network is modeled after the 14-year-old Fire Learning Network, which is focused on ecosystem wildfire resiliency.

Click here for printable FAQ handout