One of the most effective ways to improve the wildfire safety of your property is to take primary responsibility for it. As a resident, you are the first line of defense. It is a goal of the Ada Fire Adapted Community Partnership to give homeowners the tools they need to take ownership for their own fire preparedness. Together, we can do this through a variety of means.
Get Involved with “Ready, Set, Go!”
“The Ready, Set, Go!” Program is a partnership between you and your local fire department that aims to share information on how to prepare for a wildland fire. As a resident, you can do your part by following the three simple steps of the RSG program:
- Get Ready – Prepare yourself, your family and your property well in advance of a wildfire.
- Get Set – Be aware of what is happening around you during periods of high fire danger and be prepared to evacuate.
- Go Early – Leave early when there is a fire, or as directed by public safety officials.
Create Survivable Space
There is a distinct difference between defensible space and survivable space. Defensible space assumes that emergency service personnel or someone else will be there to defend your home. Reality paints a much different picture; with limited firefighting resources you cannot assume that a fire engine will be parked in front of, or near, your home or place of business during a wildfire. Survivable space is an essential wildfire mitigation tool that creates a buffer between your property and the vegetation that surrounds it, knowing that there is a very real possibility that no one will be there to defend it in the event of a wildfire. Not only do these mitigation efforts slow the spread of wildfire, but they can help protect firefighters that may be defending your home as well.
A fire cannot spread without a fuel source. Grasses, shrubs, and trees become natural tinder if left unchecked and unmaintained around homes and other structures. Removing dead vegetation, properly spacing plants and trees, and keeping vegetation lean, clean and green are effective strategies to reducing a fire’s fuel supply. Additionally, you can specifically landscape your property with fire-resistant plants and materials. Plan to take a tour of the Firewise Garden located at the Idaho Botanical Gardens, or one of the Firewise landscaping demonstration sites at Fire Station #1, located at 707 Reserve Street, and Fire Station #12, located at 3240 State Highway 21.
Read more about how to create survivable space around your property.
Get Your Neighbors Involved
Local solutions and individual responsibility are the cornerstones of a Fire Adapted Community. Because fire doesn’t stop at property lines, it’s important that neighbors and community members work together.
To date, five neighborhoods in Ada County are nationally recognized Firewise USA:
Warm Springs Mesa
These communities have created a Firewise plan specific to their neighborhood, followed the program’s principles, and have taken direct action to minimize their risk from wildfire. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, your ongoing efforts are essential to reducing wildfire risk. If you don’t, there are many principles from the Firewise program you can apply to your own property or neighborhood.
If you live in one of these neighborhoods, your ongoing efforts are essential to reducing wildfire risk. If you don’t, there are many principles from the Firewise program you can apply to your own property or neighborhood.
Become a Firewise Community
There are five steps to becoming a nationally recognized Firewise Community:
Obtain a wildfire risk assessment from your state forestry agency or fire department.
Form a board or committee, and create an action plan based on the risk assessment.
Conduct a “Firewise Day” event.
Invest a minimum of $2 per capita in local Firewise actions.
Submit an application to your state Firewise liaison.
More information and resources are available on the Firewise USA website.