Wildfire Resilience and Covid-19
Adapting in new ways - cooperatively
Local, state and federal fire fighting and rescue organizations now have the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated complexities to factor into their wildfire planning, preparations, and response. The pandemic poses a new challenge as well as a learning curve for the nation’s wildfire response agencies. These service units will be grappling with these challenges as wildfire season arrives in the U.S. West and elsewhere soon.
A new normal insists on cooperation
With the challenges of the novel Coronavirus pandemic becoming clearer, our nation’s wildfire response will need inspiring new levels of cooperation, coordination, and innovation. This is needed between fire suppression agencies, communities, and individuals. Just like virus mitigation, wildfire mitigation efforts do not just benefit those who take them on, but they have widespread benefits across communities and watersheds.
What you can do
A bright light in the challenges ahead is that there are specific steps we all can take to make our communities more resilient to wildfire. Depending on personal, local, and regional circumstances, many may have time at home right now to take these steps. Actions as simple as cleaning your gutters or signing up for local emergency alerts can have a powerful effect on how wildfire season will play out.
We can expect our first responders to do everything they can to suppress wildfires, but it’s even more important than normal this year to do what we can to set them up for success. We can assist firefighters by preparing our homes and our families for wildfire and preventing human-caused ignitions.
Through creative and responsible approaches, we can share information through our networks about the increased importance of wildfire preparedness during the Covid-19 crisis. This will inspire others to act. Know that you could be saving your life, your neighbors lives, or the lives of firefighters and first-responders. These efforts are more critical than ever to enable a safe and effective wildfire response during this pandemic.
The Guild will be sharing resources, tips and information here in the coming weeks.
Press and stories
- Covid-19 could make this year's wildfire season more dangerous. Popular Science.
- Wildland firefighters prep for new guiddlines to protect against virus spread. Santa Fe New Mexican.
Helpful tips and info
A wealth of information and suggested action steps are available nationwide. Not everything will apply everywhere and not everyone can or should do everything suggested. We urge you to consider your current local rules, guidance, and situations, and your personal health and abilities in the context of these shared resources. Please put personal and community safety first. After all, that's what these tips and information are all about! Stay well and safe.
- 2020 National Fire Season Themes
- Strategies for Resilience, Fire Adapted Colorado.
- Meeting the challenges of Covid-19. Chief of the US Forest Service.
- Forest Service Coronavirus updates.
For a fire practitioner's perspective
- Association for Fire Ecology
- Wildfire Wednesday blog #1: Staying Connected. FACNM
- Wildfire Wednesday blog #2: Alerts - Fire Response - Detecting Fires, FACNM
For a fire chief's perspective
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