“Big Bear Fire Department Receives Recognition”
Ten Years of Wildfire Preparedness Actions
BIG BEAR LAKE, CA/September 28, 2016 – Big Bear Fire Department and the Big Bear community has achieved ten years of active participation in the National Fire Protection Association's Firewise Communities/USA® program. During that time residents have committed time, effort and resources to mitigate the risks to their homes and landscape from wildfire.
As an active participant in the national program since 2007, the community has completed a wildfire risk assessment, developed an action plan and met a per capita mitigation investment annually. Since their inaugural year in the program, a set of annual renewal criteria to maintain their active status has been completed.
Big Bear Fire Department Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Mike Maltby thanked the community for their participation in this program, “Every year wildfires burn throughout California and we see our share locally. It’s not if, but when Big Bear will face another wildfire. Through the Firewise Communities program, Big Bear residents are making their homes and their community safer taking action to mitigate harm before a wildfire strikes.”
The national program formally acknowledges the local mitigation actions that residents are completing in their efforts to increase the survivability of properties when wildfires occur. Communities develop their individual risk reduction objectives with cooperative assistance from state forestry agencies and local fire staff.
Fire-prone communities throughout the U.S. are eligible to receive Firewise Communities/USA status when the following criteria is completed:
* A risk assessment is created and used to develop a plan that identifies mutually agreed-upon achievable solutions that will be implemented by the community and its residents.
* A board/committee is established that initiates and tracks the community's projects and decides which projects will be prioritized.
* Hosting of a Firewise Communities/USA Day each year that is dedicated to a local education or mitigation project.
* Invest a minimum of $2.00 per capita annually in local Firewise projects (work by municipal employees or volunteers using municipal and other equipment can be included, as can state/federal grants dedicated to that purpose).
* Submit an annual renewal application to Firewise Communities/USA that documents they have met the program's criteria. Communities interested in earning recognition can find more information at firewise.org/USA. To get involved in local Firewise activities, or for other fire and life safety topics, please contact the Big Bear Fire Department at www.bigbearfire.org or (909) 866-7566.
Photos Attached: Firewise Committee members: Big Bear Fire Department employees Frankie Ortega and Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Mike Maltby accepting Firewise Communities 10-Year award on behalf of the Department and the community.
About Big Bear Fire Department
Big Bear Fire Authority was formed under a Joint Powers Agreement in 2012 combining Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District and Big Bear City Fire Department, now commonly known as Big Bear Fire Department. Since its inception, the Big Bear Fire Department is committed to providing Big Bear Valley with professional fire, medical and emergency services “Protecting Lives and Property,” with timely response to fire and medical emergencies.
The Firewise Communities Program encourages local mitigation solutions by involving homeowners in preparing homes and landscaping for wildfires. Firewise is one element of the Fire Adapted Communities initiative — a national effort that engages homeowners, firefighters, civic leaders and land managers to reduce wildfire risk in communities throughout the United States. Firewise is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and the USDA Forest Service.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.orq. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.orq/freeaccess.