What is a Fire Adapted Community?
A fire adapted community acknowledges and takes responsibility for its wildfire risk, and implements appropriate actions at all levels. Actions address resident safety, homes, neighborhoods, businesses and infrastructure, forests, parks, open spaces and other community assets. Every community has a unique set of circumstances and capacities, so the kinds of actions they take will vary. Further, there is no end-point in becoming a fire adapted community. Sustaining, growing and adapting strategies, partnerships and capacity through time are key.
Learn more in this video.
Accelerating the Spread of FAC Concepts
The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network encourages the development and sharing of best practices and innovations in order to accelerate the adoption of fire adapted community concepts nationwide. The Network includes members from across the United States that have committed to implementing, assessing and sharing the work they are doing to increase their communities' resilience to wildfire.
The Network, which is modeled after the Fire Learning Network, was created in 2013. Network members gather annually to exchange ideas and innovations and use an online forum and webinars to stay connected throughout the year. Pilot communities work with their local coordinating or steering groups to develop and implement annual work plans that are tailored to the needs of their particular communities. They organize workshops, conduct outreach, and implement projects with the goal of helping homeowners, community leaders and others to collaborate effectively to mitigate wildfire risk.
The Watershed Research and Training Center and The Nature Conservancy manage the Network, providing support to the pilot communities, capturing learning and organizing the annual workshops.
Fire adapted communities is one of three themes of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, and agencies and other stakeholders across the United States are working in a variety of ways to help local communities safely coexist with fire. The Fire Adapted Communities Coalition is a consortium of agencies and organizations (including the Conservancy) working to advance the overall effort.
Why is the Conservancy Involved?
Fire is a key, natural process that restores and maintains the health of forests and grasslands. In the United States, if we are to allow fire to play its “natural role” at a meaningful scale, we must first make both our wildlands and nearby communities more “fire-ready.” The methods for doing this are tested and straightforward, but require money, social license and an ongoing commitment to action. The Conservancy promotes ecologically appropriate thinning and fire use in wildlands and adjacent to communities, and we promote fire adapted community concepts in places where homes and flammable ecosystems intersect.
Contact: Wendy Fulks (The Nature Conservancy) or Nick Goulette (Watershed Research and Training Center).