Winter pile burning project led by the City of Santa Fe. Credit: Esmé Cadiente, Forest Stewards Guild
Living better with wildland fire means choosing change.
Launched in 2013, the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net) is demonstrating, innovating, and rapidly and broadly disseminating practices that improve community wildfire resilience. Comprised of two dozen core members and more than 160 affiliates, FAC Net and its partners are changing the future of fire.
Networks are particularly well-suited to adaptive problems — like our wildfire problem — because they are responsive, adaptable and designed to evolve. FAC Net, a collaborative partnership among The Watershed Center, The Nature Conservancy, and our members, supported by the USDA Forest Service and Department of the Interior, recognizes that no single approach will solve all of our wildfire problems. As a result, FAC Net utilizes an assortment of strategies to improve wildfire outcomes.
FAC Net connects practitioners to resources and each other. Communities from Hawaii to New Jersey are wrestling with how to improve wildfire outcomes in their places and they are succeeding. FAC Net helps share these successes, and the knowledge gained in the process, with other community leaders. The hard-won lessons, strategies, and approaches from one place accelerate adaptation in others. FAC Net uses learning exchanges, shares stories, hosts training and learning groups, and creates peer conversations to facilitate these outcomes and sustain connections that will continue to move the practice of adapting to fire forward.
FAC Net innovates and experiments with new practices to enhance fire adaptation before, during, and after wildfire. Continuing the same management strategies and historical approaches will continue to yield the same losses. Members are encouraged to try new approaches to wildfire adaptation and to share their successes and failures with others. Learning from each other spreads and amplifies creative solutions and can save others from common pitfalls and missteps
FAC Net supports place-based fire adaptation work in a variety of contexts representative of the diversity of communities with wildfire risk in the US. Members are actively pursuing residential mitigation strategies, broadening their community engagement, facilitating business resilience, working to improve post-wildfire recovery, working with utility partners and more—all to create better wildfire outcomes for their communities and lands.
FAC Net sparks fire adaptation efforts of other practitioners in locations outside the Network.
Want to hear from members about what they value about the Network? Listen to this short podcast by our partners at FEMA Region 10.
Check out our blog for our latest fire adapted stories.