NVFC and U.S. Forest Service Continue Partnership to Increase Community Preparedness in the Wildland-Urban Interface
August 25, 2015
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has received a two-year grant from the U.S. Forest Service to continue the Wildland Fire Assessment Program (WFAP), a groundbreaking program that provides fire service volunteers with training and tools needed to conduct home safety assessments and prepare their communities for the next wildfire.
Fire departments are a key component in educating residents about the importance of wildfire mitigation efforts and what they can do to make their homes and communities more fire adapted. However, before WFAP, many volunteer departments had limited access to free training on how to conduct personal property assessments.
Launched by the NVFC and U.S. Forest Service in 2011, WFAP is the first program designed specifically to train volunteer firefighters and support members to thoroughly evaluate a home in the wildland-urban interface and provide residents with recommendations to mitigate the wildfire risks on their property. This encourages homeowners to take a proactive approach in preparing their homes before the next wildfire strikes. In the first phase of the partnership, the NVFC created the WFAP curriculum and a toolkit with supplemental resources to help fire service volunteers conduct these home assessments and track and manage their mitigation efforts.
Through this grant, the NVFC will help bridge wildfire prevention gaps that currently exist at the grassroots level by amplifying WFAP outreach efforts, training more volunteers, providing additional ready-to-use assessment tools and resources to volunteer fire departments, and reinforcing the efforts of the Fire Adapted Communities Coalition.
“We thank the U.S. Forest Service for supporting this critical program that will enhance the preparedness and safety of residents and firefighters,” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “With this new grant, we will be able to expand the resources offered through the Wildland Fire Assessment Program, train more volunteer firefighters and support personnel on how to properly conduct home assessments, and help communities across the wildland-urban interface become better prepared to mitigate and recover from wildfires.”