A fire adapted community is a community that is working to prepare for, respond to, and recover from wildfire. It incorporates people, buildings, businesses, infrastructure, cultural resources, and natural areas into the preparedness effort.
Q. How are fire adapted communities different from Firewise communities?
A. Fire adapted communities use many tools and programs to better live with wildfire. The Firewise Communities USA program is one tool available to communities but is not the only tool. Programs such as Ready, Set, Go! as well as local codes and ordinances, Community Wildfire Protection Plans, collaborative planning efforts, business resilience activities, local mutal aid agreements, fire department capacity, and more all help adapt a community to live with wildfire.
Q. Our community is in the middle of a wildfire. Is it too late to become fire adapted?
A. No! There is no right or wrong time to become more adapted to wildfire. Communities taking action to better prepare for, respond to, or recover from wildfire can all become fire adapted. The recovery phase of wildfire can bring communities together just as effectively (and at times, even more effectively) than the time before a wildfire.
Q. What are some of the tools available to help communities?
Convene partners to complete or update a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Example Washington State CWPPs can provide a useful example. The CWPP Leaders Guide and Supplement as well as the Handbook for Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan can help you get started. The CWPP Evaluation Guide is great for communities that have a CWPP and need to evaluate it.
Land Use Codes
The National Fire Protection Association has a standard for reducing wildfire risk to structures. The International Code Council also has a Wildland Urban Interface code. Either or both can be used as a model for your jurisdiction. For more information about WUI Codes in Washington, visit the Municipal Research and Services Center wildfire page.