Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How is this different from existing programs?
A. It takes more than one program to reduce wildfire risk. Fire Adapted Communities combines existing successful tools such as the Firewise Communities/USA Program, Ready, Set, Go!, and Community Wildfire Protection Plans under one collaborative umbrella. The combination of these efforts strengthens a community’s resiliency to the next wildfire.

Q. My neighborhood is already Firewise, isn’t that enough?
A. No, being a Firewise Community is a great step toward improving the chances of a home’s survival from wildfire. But your home and neighborhood is just one important part of the community that requires protection.  Fire Adapted Communities means that everything at risk of wildfire is prepared, including businesses, infrastructure, cultural resources, and natural areas.

Q. Isn’t it the firefighters’ responsibility to protect my home and community?
A. No, there’s no guarantee that firefighters will be able to protect your home during a wildfire. It’s your responsibility to prepare your home and private property for wildfire. Being fire adapted means your home or community can survive without additional protection.

Q. Who implements Fire Adapted Communities tools?
A. You and your community. Fire adapted communities tools are designed to help residents, businesses and local government work together to prepare for wildfire. Everyone has a role in implementing the tools, including:

  • Home and property owners
  • Local and state government organizations
  • Firefighters
  • Local businesses
  • Planners
  • Developers
  • Insurance agents
  • Landscape architects
  • Emergency management personnel
  • Land managers
  • Civic and community leaders

Q. How does my community know it is fire adapted? Is there a checklist or recognition criteria?
A. Becoming a fire adapted community occurs over time. There is not a recognition process, but a minimum set of actions should include: implementing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, ensuring neighborhoods have become recognized Firewise Communities and maintain their annual status, and ongoing participation in Ready, Set, Go! Program. Other complementary tools and programs are available to reduce wildfire risk, and many communities include these in their fire adapted planning.

Q. Our community just had a fire, isn’t it too late to become Fire Adapted?
A. No, it’s never too late. Wildfires often visit the same place twice. Even if your community recently experienced a fire, the recovery phase is a great time to incorporate fuel management, landscaping, and construction techniques that prepare you for wildfire.