Photo Credit: Boise Fire Dept./C. Colwell

Topic: Monitoring / Assessment Planning Preparedness Wildfire risk assessment Type: Tools / Resources

Download the New FAC Self-Assessment Tool & User Guide

Authors: Molly Mowery

Over the past few years, the FAC Learning Network has been working behind the scenes to develop a community-based tool to increase fire adaptation. We are excited to announce that this new tool, the Fire Adapted Communities Self-Assessment Tool (FAC SAT), is now publicly available through the FAC Net website.

What exactly is the FAC SAT?

Despite the fact that fire adapted communities concepts have gained more widespread understanding, we still occasionally hear the question: “How do you know when you’re a fire adapted community?” We can explain to others that becoming fire adapted is an ongoing process, not an endpoint and, therefore, there is not a checklist. But we know that this still leaves a few folks scratching their heads and asking for further guidance.

One way to explain fire adaptation is to provide a mechanism to help communities work through the process themselves. This is the goal of the FAC SAT. More specifically, the FAC SAT asks a number of questions related to wildfire hazard, values at risk, mitigation activities, public engagement and partnerships. This information-gathering process enables communities to achieve the following:

  • Identify their community’s values at risk;
  • Identify their community’s capacity to implement FAC activities;
  • Assess any gaps or limitations in funding, resources, partnerships and workforce/volunteers;
  • Prioritize future fire adaptation activities;
  • Complement other work plans; and
  • Increase understanding of long-term community fire adaptation needs.

FAC SAT User and Facilitator’s Guide

While the FAC SAT is a 30-page document, potential users shouldn’t feel intimidated by the length. A companion guide to the FAC SAT, the FAC SAT User and Facilitator’s Guide, provides helpful strategies for facilitating different approaches to the FAC SAT process. This content includes snapshots of community members who have tested the FAC SAT and put their approach into action.

In addition, the guide offers tips and resources for long-term implementation of the FAC SAT (and ultimately, community fire adaptation), and additional background on the FAC SAT.

Not a reporting tool

Because we’d like to provide users with future updates, FAC Net is maintaining a database with the names and email addresses of people who download the tool. However, the FAC SAT is solely for the use of communities. It is not a national tracking, comparison or monitoring tool, and communities will not be asked to share their assessment information with the FAC Net or anyone else.

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