Planning for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and Beyond
May 1 is the National Fire Protection Association’s Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, and it can’t come faster for a year that may see extremely dangerous fires on the U.S west coast and Canada.
Now is the time to plan for potentially devastating wildfires. Recently San Jose University’s Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center discovered that fuel-moisture content (FMC) – the ratio of moisture to combustible material in plants, which indicates how prone they are to burning – was at a record low in the region.
When vegetation is dry, parched, even dead, wildfires start easily and spread rapidly. The 2020-2021 winter was the third driest on record, and as a result, the region’s reservoirs are currently at half their total capacity.
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day encourages organizations to take action to raise awareness and reduce wildfire risks. With in-person gatherings limited due to the pandemic, this year’s focus is on sharing suggestions online, including:
Beyond this day-long event, May is also Wildfire Awareness Month as designated by FEMA, which also provides resources for communities and organizations to prepare for wildfires, including emergency plans, go-kits, and how to receive alerts in your area.