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Wildland Fire Assessment Resources

The following training courses, tools, and resources are designed to help firefighters address structural assessments in the wildland urban interface as well as prepare their communities before the next wildfire. If you know of a resource that is missing from this list, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This webpage is a part of the Wildland Fire Assessment Program, a joint effort of the NVFC and the U.S. Forest Service.


Courses
 

For Fire Personnel

Wildland Fire Assessment Program (WFAP) Course
National Volunteer Fire Council
The WFAP course teaches volunteer firefighters and non-operational volunteers how to properly conduct home assessments in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). It is available online as a four-part train-the-trainer course that covers understanding the WUI problem, identifying the zones, evaluating the home, and available resources.   

Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) Training
NFPA
The two-day on-site HIZ workshop incorporates NFPA 1141: Standard for Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Suburban and Rural Areas and NFPA 1144: Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire as the basis for assessing hazards and recommending appropriate mitigation measures to reduce wildfire risks to homes, developments, communities, and subdivisions and to increase awareness among residents and communities.

Conducting a Community Assessment in the WUI: Beginning the Firewise Process
NFPA
This online course is for fire and forestry professionals and others who want to help residents of areas at risk from wildfire to make their homes safer. Taking this course provides you with a thorough understanding of how homes ignite during wildfires, how simple actions can greatly reduce home ignitions, and how community behavior change can create Firewise homes and communities. The course is broken into eight lessons; each takes 30 or 45 minutes to complete.

Firefighter Safety in the Wildland/Urban Interface
NFPA
This online course addresses problems faced by structural and wildland firefighters when fighting fires, especially those threatening structures in the wildland/urban interface. The course has three parts: Understanding Fire Behavior in the WUI, Structure Protection Strategies in the WUI, and Firefighter Safety in the WUI. The entire course takes approximately four hours to complete.

Assessing Wildfire Dangers in Home Ignition Zones
Arizona Wildfire Academy
This two-day seminar instructs participants how to identify hazards and reduce risks in the home ignition zone before a wildfire starts. By applying new knowledge of how wildland/urban interface fires occur and by using new approaches, future wildland/urban interface fire disasters can be significantly reduced.

S-215 Fire Operations in the Wildland Urban Interface
National Wildfire Coordinating Group
The in-person course is designed to aid firefighters with tactical decisions in the WUI. Specifically, S-215 details the basics of conducting structural assessments, including identifying structural vulnerabilities, triaging homes, and predicting the effects that the urban landscape has on a wildfire.

P-101 Fire Prevention Education 1
National Wildfire Coordinating Group
This introductory class, available locally is designed for fire prevention personnel and details the basics of wildfire prevention principles and activities. Only briefly addresses home assessments in the WUI.

P-301 Fire Prevention Education 2
National Wildfire Coordinating Group
This intermediate class, available locally, is designed for fire prevention personnel and promotes a collaborative planning process in developing an effective and efficient wildfire prevention education program. Topics include assessment, planning, the collaborative process, communication, and monitoring accomplishments.

ICS Simulation Series: Wildland Fire (Q617)
FEMA 
This online simulation training is designed to expose new firefighters to the problems and issues that arise in the WUI. The scenario begins with a small wildfire that encroaches into a community, after which the student takes command of fire suppression efforts. Specific home assessment training is not addressed in the scenario, but it provides a helpful backdrop to the larger issues that arise in the WUI.

For Homeowners

Firewise Landscaping Course
NFPA
Designed for people living in wildland areas, this online course introduces participants to a wide range of fire protection knowledge and addresses the issues of appropriate landscape designs, specific planting and pruning alternatives, and appropriate planting materials for interface/intermix fire environments.

Living With Fire Workshop
University of California Cooperative Extension
This program is designed to inform the public, specifically in the Sierra Nevada region, how to coexist with wildfire. Although not designed for firefighters, the materials provide information about a structures’ vulnerability during a wildfire. PowerPoint presentations, videos, and handouts are available.

Federal Agencies
 

USFA
The U.S. Fire Administration developed Wildfire: Are you Prepared to provide the steps homeowners in the WUI need to take to protect their family, home, and property from wildfire.

U.S. Forest Service
The Forest Service has managed wildland fire for more than 100 years. The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy calls for an all-lands, all-hands approach that leverages the assets and expertise of partners across the nation’s landscapes.

Bureau of Land Management
Through its Wildland Fire Operations, the Bureau of Land Management is a leader in wildland fire management efforts and undertakes a broad range of activities to safely protect the public and our nation’s natural landscape, wildland habitat, and recreational areas.

Programs and Web Sites
 

Fire Adapted Communities
NFPA
Wildfire is everyone’s responsibility, and a Fire Adapted Community means that all stakeholders – homeowners, firefighters, land managers, and civic leaders – do their part to prepare for the next wildfire. This web site offers information and specific actions each stakeholder must take as well as a toolkit to help promote Fire Adapted Communities locally.

Firewise
NFPA
Firewise encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks. Co-sponsored by USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters, Firewise Communities teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses.

Ready, Set, Go!
IAFC
Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) provides information, tools, and resources to fire departments and homeowners on how to prepare for wildfires. RSG members enjoy access to a variety of resources including informational documents such as ‘Effective Outreach and Guidance’ and the ‘Implementation and Background Guide.’ These guides provide a step-by-step strategy for fire departments to implement RSG in their community.

National Advanced Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI) 
NAFRI provides and develops wildland fire education programs and administers the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center.

Cal Fire Alliance
The California Fire Alliance collaborates with stakeholders to identify wildfire threats to community values, develop and support strategies to engage communities, and work with them to create fire adapted communities and resilient landscapes. The web site provides resources including PowerPoint presentations and guidance documents related to pre-fire preparations. 

Wildfire Zone 
University of California, Cooperative Extension
The Wildfire Zone creates awareness of wildfire risks and hazards and offers tips on how to reduce the risks. The interactive web site is designed primarily for homeowners and includes informational videos along with a variety of other information and resources regarding fire in the WUI.

Resources
 

Home Assessment Tools

Wildland Fire Assessment Program (WFAP) Toolkit
National Volunteer Fire Council
This toolkit provides information and resources in a train-the-trainer format that can be used to teach the fundamentals of performing home assessments with and for residents living in communities that are susceptible to wildfires. Supplemental resources to go with the Toolkit, including a home assessment checklist, can be found on the main WFAP webpage.

Wildfire Home Assessment & Checklist
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety
The checklist is designed to help homeowners determine how vulnerable their home and its surroundings are to fire damage. A cost estimator helps the homeowner prioritize which improvements can be made now and which ones should be part of their home improvement budget. 

Fire Information Engine Toolkit
Center for Fire Research and Outreach, University of California - Berkeley 
This toolkit provides guidance on conducting wildfire assessments. A detailed checklist and guidance documents are available to aid in hazard assessments.

Partners in Protection 
This Canadian-based program provides hazard assessment training as well as manuals, guidance documents, and interactive CDs.

WildFIRE Wizard
FLASH 
WildFIRE Wizard is an interactive tool designed for wildfire prevention educators and professionals to help homeowners understand how landscaping, terrain, and structural features increase or decrease their home's vulnerability during a wildfire. The Wizard allows the user to input details about features including windows, doors, roof, exterior walls, and landscaping and then creates a homeowner-friendly, customized report that includes specific recommendations about how to reduce the home's potential to ignite during a wildfire.

Wildfire Risk Assessment Guide for Homeowners in the Southern United States
Interface South
This guide allows homeowners to evaluate their particular exposure to fire as well as the critical factors that increase their risk. Homeowners can use the guide to determine their risk and how to reduce it.

Hazard and Wildfire Risk Assessment Scoresheet
Florida Forest Service 
This tool contains a list of items to address in a wildfire situation and assigns a point value to various factors. The list includes a category for structure assessments.i

Disaster Safety - Wildfire
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety  
This webpage provides information and tools for identifying the hazards that wildfires pose to structures in the WUI and methods to reduce the risk. Specifically, the organization provides helpful information on how to identify structural vulnerabilities such as the roof, windows, vents, porches, and decks. Also includes links to other wildland fire resources.

Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act
Oregon Department of Forestry
This Oregon law requires property owners in identified forestland-urban interface areas to reduce excess vegetation around structures and along driveways. The Oregon Department of Forestry supplies a guide to evaluating fire risks and provides for self certification for property owners.

Videos and PSAs
   
Video and Radio Public Service Ads
As part of the Fire Adapted Communities initiative, the U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council created a series of TV and radio PSAs targeted at raising awareness and educating homeowners and community members in fire-prone areas. All of the PSAs are available for use free of charge and can be used for educational purposes or in donated media space. 

Before the Smoke! Preparing Your Community for Wildfire
This DVD looks at how small and volunteer fire departments in wildfire-prone areas can learn to effectively protect their communities even with limited resources. The work and outreach of three local fire departments are highlighted, as are the benefits of Fire Adapted Communities®, Firewise®, and Ready, Set, Go programs. The video is also available on YouTube.

Video: Understanding Fire Behavior in the Wildland/Urban Interface
NFPA 
This video, presented by Jack Cohen, is designed for firefighters and discusses the operational aspects as well as the science behind the ignition of structures in a wildfire.

Video: Firefighter Safety in the Wildland/Urban Interface
NFPA 
This video presentation looks at lessons learned from wildland fire incidents where firefighters’ lives were put at risk, as well as LCES, crew cohesion, the 10 standard fire orders, and the 18 situations that should not be overlooked when fighting a wildland fire.

Living on the Edge
Florida Fire Service
This program consists of a three-hour video designed for high school students, but provides a good introduction to wildfire in the WUI.

Webpages

Wildfire Safety
ICC/NWUIC 
The International Code Council and the National Wildland/Urban Interface Council offer resources to help residents protect their homes and communities, including tips, kits, and sites for kids.

Wildfire Information Network
eXtension
This web site provides access to current university-sponsored research into wildfire and its effects in the WUI. The site is geared towards the homeowner, but provides detailed information concerning fire safe building practices and building designs.

Apps

Wildfire App
American Red Cross
The free American Red Cross Wildfire App, available in English or Spanish, includes the “Blaze Tracker” trio of features which can be customized for alerts specific to where you live, travel, and have loved ones. The app has several other features and can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

Fire Corps

Fire Corps is a program under the federal Citizen Corps initiative that connects resource-constrained fire/EMS departments with community members to assist in non-emergency roles. This allows first responders to focus on training and operational duties while at the same time increasing the department's capacity and services.

Fire Corps members can assist with administration, fundraising, public fire prevention and life safety education, home safety checks and smoke alarm installation programs, apparatus maintenance, and much more. Fire Corps tasks are limited only by the needs of the department.

Resources available through Fire Corps include:

  • Free program registration
  • Program locator so potential volunteers can find a program and departments can learn about other programs
  • Fire Corps Academy, which provides training for departments and citizens who want to start or grow a local Fire Corps Program
  • State Advocate Network to assist local fire/EMS departments who are establishing or implementing a Fire Corps Program
  • Tools for implementing a Fire Corps program, including resource guides, toolkits, and sample documents
  • Tools for marketing a local program
  • Preparedness and fire prevention resources
  • Profiles of successful Fire Corps programs and exceptional volunteers and how they are helping their local communities


Learn more about Fire Corps at www.firecorps.org

National Junior Firefighter Program


Getting youth involved in the fire and emergency services fosters the next generation of first responders and creates a network of community supporters of the emergency services. The NVFC National Junior Firefighter Program serves as an umbrella for junior firefighter programs nationwide to promote youth participation within the fire and emergency services community. The program is a powerful recruitment tool for departments and provides youth with valuable life skills such as teamwork, leadership, responsibility, and commitment.

The National Junior Firefighter Program provides fire/EMS departments with the resources, tools, and information to help develop, grow, enhance, and promote a local junior firefighter program. Youth can use the program to locate a local junior firefighter program, keep track of their hours of service, and find other resources as a youth participant in the fire and emergency services.

Learn more, register a program, and access resources at www.nvfc.org/juniors.

Wildland Fire Assessment Program

The Wildland Fire Assessment Program (WFAP) is a joint effort by the U.S. Forest Service and the NVFC to provide volunteer firefighters and non-operational personnel, such as Fire Corps members, with training on how to properly conduct assessments for homes located in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). This is the first program targeted to volunteers that specifically prepares them to evaluate a home and provide residents with recommendations to protect their property from wildfires in order to become a more a fire-adapted community

Through this program, the NVFC offers the following resources:

  • Online Training: consists of four modules that cover understanding the WUI problem, identifying the zones, evaluating the home, and available resources.
  • WFAP Toolkit: provides information and resources in a train-the-trainer format that can be used to teach the fundamentals of performing home assessments with and for residents living in communities that are susceptible to wildfires.
  • Assessment Tools: consists of the WFAP online checklist and online data-tracking system for a fire/EMS department to record how many assessments have been performed and recommendations made to residents. Additional information about the Assessment Tools are covered in the online training and Toolkit. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line WFAP Assessment to set up a personalized data-tracking system for your department.
  • Supplemental Resources: contains customizable documents to help implement and market the WFAP program in your community. Instructions for each of the resources below can be found in the WFAP Toolkit.
  • Wildland Fire Assessment Resources: provides a comprehensive list of available training courses, tools, and resources designed to help firefighters address structural assessments in the WUI as well as prepare their communities before the next wildfire.


Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

The inaugural Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (WCPD) will take place May 3, 2014. Departments are encouraged to utilize this opportunity to develop and participate in activities that raise wildfire awareness, promote collaboration, and bring neighbors together to help protect homes, neighborhoods, and entire communities from future wildfire risk or current post-fire impacts.

Find resources and activity ideas for participating in WCPD from the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Adapted Communities, and the NVFC.

 

Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program


Heart attack is the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities, accounting for around half of all firefighter deaths each year. The NVFC launched the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program in 2003 to combat this alarming trend through education, awareness, and resources. The Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program promotes fitness, nutrition, and health awareness for all members of the fire and emergency services, both volunteer and career.

Resources available through the Program include:

  • Resources for starting and implementing a health and wellness program in your fire/EMS department
  • Trade show booth with free health screening and resources
  • Health and Wellness Advocate Workshop to train department personnel to start a department health program and motivate their fellow responders to focus on health and fitness
  • Fired Up for Fitness Challenge, an interactive tool to motivate first responders to get active
  • Information on heart health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle choices
  • International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, held each June in partnership with the IAFC to encourage departments and personnel to focus on safety and health topics especially critical to the fire and emergency services
  • Health and wellness challenges to help motivate your department
  • Interactive message board to connect with other first responders looking to become and stay heart healthy
  • Webinars to educate first responders about important health and wellness topics
  • Securing Sponsors for Department Health and Wellness Programs, a toolkit for finding funding to support a wellness program in your department
  • Heart-Healthy Firefighter Resource Guide
  • Heart Healthy Firefighter Cookbook
  • Smoking cessation resources
  • Success stories from first responders from across the country who have succeeded in getting heart healthy


Visit www.healthy-firefighter.org to find the resources and tools to keep you and your department heart strong and ready for the next call.

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