New USDA Forest Service Publication Highlights FAC

Authors: Wendy Fulks

The latest edition of Fire Management Today includes nine papers related to FAC and wildland-urban interface issues. These articles, many of them written by FAC Coalition members, present a variety of perspectives related to helping communities learn to live with fire.

As Pam Leschak states in her introduction to the series:

“The articles in this issue of Fire Management Today illustrate how partners working collaboratively can accomplish more together than they can separately; indeed, that’s one of the keys to adapting communities to wildfire—working together for the greater good. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Below are some highlights that may be of particular interest to FAC practitioners and Network participants.

Nick Goulette, Lynn Decker, Michelle Medley-Daniel and Bruce Goldstein authored a piece titled “Adopting a Learning Network Approach for Growing Fire Adapted Communities.” The paper describes some of the basics about learning networks and explains how a network approach can help accelerate the adoption of FAC. Here’s an excerpt:

“Learning networks encourage autonomy, adaptability, and self-coordination so that relationships can emerge that reflect mutual work and shared everyday concerns (Goldstein and Butler 2010).”

If the article seems a bit out-of-date, that’s because it is. Many of the papers were submitted in 2013 but there was a delay in getting this edition published.

The article by Molly Mowery and Cathy Prudhomme provides context and a comprehensive discussion of what it means for a community to be fire adapted. A case study about Rapid City, South Dakota provides a tangible example of a community working to increase its wildfire resiliency.

Fire Adapted Communities roadmap infographic

The publication includes this “roadmap” for fire adapted communities which depicts FAC tools and the journey toward fire adaptation.

Lucian Deaton and Ronda Sutphen each contributed articles on the Ready, Set, Go! program (RSG!). The former includes a high-level description of the program and a case study from FAC Network pilot Summit County, Colorado. Sutphen’s paper explains Florida’s unique top-down approach to RSG! and emphasizes the importance presenting a “united front to homeowners and the public.”

Additional articles focus on Firewise, the role of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, and wildland Fire Prevention and Education Teams. Page 12 contains a “roadmap” for fire adapted communities that depicts FAC tools and the journey toward fire adaptation.

It’s great to continue building our FAC libraries with resources such as this (as well as the new FAC Reference Guide and this summary of recent FAC Learning Network accomplishments).

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