Last year, the USDA Forest Service reported more than 13,000 wildfires in the northeastern area. These fires burned more than 76,000 acres of forest and grassland. State forestry agencies and volunteer fire departments extinguished the bulk of these fires.

Learn about your region’s unique wildfire risks by exploring this section. It provides federal, state, and local information and resources for the northeast – all of which support your community in becoming fire adapted.

Success Story: Redings Mill Fire Protection District – Working with the Public (Missouri)

Redings Region

The Redings Mill Fire Protection District, founded in 1978, protects around 13,000 residents and includes six fire stations. Their goal is to educate their communities on ways to protect themselves from the devastating effects of wildland fires. The District encompasses Silver Creek, Saginaw, Leawood, Shoal Creek Drive, Shoal Creek Estates, Loma Linda, Dennis Acres, Cliff Village, Grand Falls, and Redings Mill.

These communities are fairly small, but together they make up a large area in southwest Missouri. The district worked with the Missouri Department of Conservation to perform a wildfire hazard assessment and developed a plan to address their safety concerns.

Ben Webster, State Fire Supervisor with the Missouri Department of Conservation said, “One of the primary concerns when dealing with wildland fire is the protection of persons and property. With the development and implementation of Community Wildfire Protection Plans and participation in the Firewise Program, the Redings Mill Fire Protection District has taken the proper steps to protect its citizens and communities from the threats and damages of wildfire.”

The Redings Mill Fire Protection District (RMFPD) was awarded Firewise recognition in 2010.  Through their continued efforts, they provide an example for other Missouri communities.

Efforts have included: Redings Mill Fire Protection District staff training to recognize wildland fire hazards; vegetation and fuel mitigation reports; nine community meetings to educate residents about their role in the Firewise program. Residents have since removed flammable vegetation from around their homes and neighborhood structures, and held a “Firewise Community Education Day.”

Assistant Chief Michael White stated, “Using the Firewise program to assess hazards, create and implement risk mitigation plans, and educate our communities about wild land fires has directly benefited our fire district residents by lowering the risk of wild land fires affecting their homes and property.”

These combined approaches are helping the communities become fire adapted and prepared for the next wildfire.

Story sources: Firewise Communities
Photo credit: Firewise Communities program
Photo caption: Community engagement during a Firewise event