In the year 2000, intense wildland fires destroyed homes and threatened valuable natural resources in many western communities. In response, the Three Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council (Three Rivers RC&D) initiated a Wildland Fire Education Program aiming to increase public awareness of the wildfire risk in the wildland-urban-interface. Three Rivers RC&D is a nonprofit organization enhancing community development through conservation of natural resources. Three Rivers RC&D serves several counties including Bannock, Bingham, and Power as well as the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.
Every summer the WFEP hires local college students to conduct RedZone surveys, assist with free wildland fire home evaluations, and canvass in the wildland-urban interface.
Team members work with local fire departments surveying homes in high fire risk areas. Data collected is utilized by local fire departments and the BLM and USFS to prepare themselves for a wildfire that may occur in the area.
The WFEP offers free home evaluations to homeowners living in the wildland-urban interface. During the evaluations, the Wildland Fire Educator and Team members provide homeowners with suggestions to make their homes more Firewise. Evaluations take between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Team members visit homeowners living in the wildland urban interface, handing out Firewise educational material and information on free wildland home evaluations.
The WFEP cooperates with homeowners to reduce the threat of wildfire in their neighborhood. Between 4 and 7 interested homeowners come together to reduce fire fuels around their homes. Once the homeowners have reduced fuels, the WFEP provides a chipper on a designated day to dispose of the woody material.
Established in 2004, the cost-share program provides another way for homeowners to reduce fuels around their homes. The WFEP will provide a 50% reimbursement (up to $1,500) to homeowners for expenses incurred while reducing fuels around their homes. A free wildland fire home evaluation and cost share application must be completed prior to reducing fuels.
This information was taken from a WFEP brochure published by the United Forest Service.
www.3riversrcd.org : Find information on firewise techniques, pictures of WFEP projects, information on how to get a copy of the defensible space DVD, and more. You may also contact Three Rivers RC&D at (208) 705-4533.Firewise website www.firewise.org : Find books, videos, publications, and interactive website material to make your home more Firewise. National Interagency Fire Center www.nifc.gov : Find out what fires are going on in southeastern Idaho and the rest of the nation. USDA Forest Service Fire & Aviation Management http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/index.html
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