“Enough is Enough” is a campaign that focuses on the many issues of wildland fire in the urban interface. The title of this campaign originates from one of our founding board members reaction to the sobering tragedy of the Yarnell Fire. As you will quickly see, this project is not singly about that incident. The focus is of a much wider scope of “Why, we are…. where we are, at this time, and the conditions of our forests and wildand fuels.”
The “Enough is Enough” campaign will mostly be editorial pieces, public service announcements, and news articles from a diverse collaboration of concerned experts from forestry, fire ecology, wildland fire, fire behavior, large fire management, social aspects of wildland fire, and fire policy development.
FireSafe Montana seeks to present an objective and accurate view on many of the issues that have arisen in wildfire management today. There are a number and variety of programs active today, many with the same sources of funding, in this attempt to inform the public about the issue.
There are parts of this project on which we have not developed agreement among the participants. For example, what is really intended by the use of the term “Survivable Space”. Does it relate to the survival of structures? of residents? of firefighters? Does its use indirectly encourage homeowners to not evacuate in the event of a wildfire? Is “Prepare, Stay and Defend” a message that goes hand in hand with “Survivable Space”? Should firefighters just not attack fire in the WUI? Why is our federal government neighbor not doing the mitigation in our neighborhood on their managed lands? What is difference between a “Fire Adapted Community” and the “Living With Fire” publications? Is there still a “Firewise” program to address planning at the city level? Are the standards the same for a wildland fuel hazard reduction project from one agency to another? Why aren’t local landowners and neighboring private landowners included in federal land management decisions?
Wildland fire is more of a challenge today than it was thirty or even ten years ago. Some would argue that is so because the Wildland Urban Interface is growing larger. Some would say it’s inevitable because the climate is warming. Others argue it’s because of severely restricted management on federal forest lands that has led to unreasonable forest encroachment.
We may not be successful in getting answers to all the questions that are out there, but we want to move the conversation forward…. Because “Enough is Enough!”
The goal of the fire prevention and community preparedness program is to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires and educate homeowners, who live in Montana's wildland urban interface, on how to take measures to protect their homes, property and personal safety. Public outreach and education is the driving force of these programs, this is primarily done through promoting and partnering with Keep Montana Green, FireSafe Montana, Firewise Communities, Fire Adapted Communities and Ready, Set, Go!
Raising awareness and educating adults and children on ways to reduce their chances of starting a wildland fire is the goal of prevention. Human-caused wildland fires can be broken down into eight categories: campfires; smoking; debris burning; arson; equipment; railroad; children; and miscellaneous (fireworks, explosives, ammunition, gas/oil).
The Montana DNRC is mandated by law to determine the origin and cause of fires within their jurisdiction. The fire prevention program uses this information to help ensure that the prevention messages being used are pertinent to what human-caused fires are occurring.
Each year, wildland fires consume hundreds of homes in the Wildland-Urban Interface. Studies show that as many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fire could have been saved if their owners had only followed a few simple fire-safe practices. There is no better time than now to prepare and educate your family. Make sure your family knows what to do in case of a home or wildland fire.
“Montana fire organizations and agencies are dedicated to the vital role of public education and awareness programs to address the escalating wildland fire situation. Becoming informed on what the adoption of a WUI code could have on WUI fire mitigation is critical and strategically complements the existing WUI fire prevention programs. It is never too early to start addressing solutions to a situation that only continues to put human lives at risk and comes with a hefty price tag.” (Bruce Suenram, MT DNRC)