Firewise for Central Whidbey Homeowners
Firewise for All Whidbey Island Homeowners
Read & share this one-page intro to Firewise for Central Whidbey Homeowners to all your friends!
Read & share this one-page intro to Firewise for other Whidbey Island Homeowners to all your friends!
Watch a 10-minute Prezi on Why Firewise® Matters on Whidbey
Learn in just 10 minutes why Firewise matters on Whidbey Island! View this interactive Prezi presentation created by the Whidbey Island Conservation District. Click through the slides to learn about wildfire risk in central Whidbey, specifically, and the Firewise Program benefits and steps.
Do you have questions after watching the presentation?
Feel free to call us at (360) 678-4708. We'd be happy to assist!
Note: This program is currently working on a hazard risk ranking matrix & ArcGIS interactive map that will be launched later tin spring 2017 as a tool for homeowners to use in understanding their risk to wildfire. Stay tuned!
What is the Wildfire Risk on Whidbey Island?
Wildfire risk is closer than you might think. Fuels, prevailing winds, and topography are the key factors in determining a home’s ignitability during a wildfire incident. On the west side of Whidbey, communities tucked within forested areas along the dry, bluff zones that receive prevailing west winds in summer are more at risk. Through Firewise, homeowners can take proactive steps to understand the science behind home ignitability, and techniques to create defensible space in their home ignition zones.
Did you know that Central Whidbey, specifically, is more at risk because it receives significantly less precipitation than on north and south Whidbey Island? In the dry summer months of June - September, drier, fine fuels coupled with westerly winds and steep slopes increase the hazard of wildfire risk to rural residents. Those who live in forested communities near the bluff north or south of this rain shadow zone can still benefit to learn about Firewise, even though their risk may be less.
Firewise is designed to educate and empower homeowners about the science behind wildfire, and equip them with the tools to take proactive steps to reduce their risk through home assessments and site visits with tailored recommendations from resource specialists, community presentations from local fire experts, a rich print & digital resource library for both adults and kids, and ongoing support by local professionals at the Whidbey Island Conservation District.
The Science of Home Ignition from Wildfire
When it comes to wildfire risk, it is not a geographical location, but a set of conditions that determine the home’s ignition potential in any community. Wildfire behavior is influenced by three main factors: topography (lie of the land), weather (wind speed, relative humidity and ambient temperature) and fuel (vegetation and man-made structures). In the event of extreme wildfire behavior, extreme weather conditions are normally present, like extended drought, high winds, low humidity and high temperatures, coupled with excess fuel build up including the accumulation of live and dead vegetation material. Additionally, the area’s topography influences the fire’s intensity and rate of spread.
OF THESE THREE FACTORS, FUEL IS THE ONLY ONE WE CAN INFLUENCE.
Debris like dead leaves and pine needles left on decks, in gutters and strewn across lawns can ignite from embers. Fire moving along the ground’s surface can “ladder” into shrubs and low hanging tree limbs to create longer flames and more heat. If your home has flammable features or vulnerable openings, it can also serve as fuel for the fire, and become part of a disastrous chain of ignitions to other surrounding homes and structures.
Learn About Fire from Jack Cohen
Learn about the science behind wildfire from Jack D. Cohen, Research Physical Scientist, United States Forest Service. No one has done more to define the wildland-urban interface problem and empower homeowners to reduce their risk of wildfire than Jack Cohen. His post-fire field examinations and laboratory-based research on fire dynamics led to the concept of the home ignition zone, a phrase he coined.
What is My Home Ignition Zone?
According to fire science research and case studies, it’s not where a home is located that necessarily determines ignition risk, but the landscape around it, often referred to as the “home ignition zone.” The home ignition zone is defined as the home and its immediate surroundings up to 100 feet. Below is a visual with great tips and tricks to help reduce the threat of wildfire around YOUR home ignition zone. These tips are tailored to Whidbey Island's unique geography and climate.
Watch a Video About the Home Ignition Zone
Gary Marshall, an instructor from the National Fire Protection Agency speaks about "Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone" training, and talks about the role of the homeowner in making sure their property is protected from wildfire. Check it out!
Firewise featured in Whidbey Weekly "Make a Difference" column
Landscaping With Firewise in Mind in Summer
Landscaping With Firewise in Mind in Summer
May 11, 2017 Issue
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What are the Firewise Program Benefits?
Click here to learn about the nation-wide benefits of joining the Firewise Program. Additionally, below are specific program benefits to homeowners and community leaders here in central Whidbey.
5- Steps to Become a Nationally-Recognized Firewise Community
Firewise Resources for Homeowners
The Whidbey Island Firewise Program has a great selection of print and digital resources available to homeowners and community leaders interested in understanding the science of fire and wildfire prevention tips and tricks at home. Below are what our team has identified the "golden nugget" resources of Firewise for homeowners. Click here to access these in one easy-to-find location to download and print.
These Firewise® publications can be accessed by clicking the images below. To access all the resources that Firewise has to offer, visit http://www.firewise.org/.
Firewise for Kids
Check out the Firewise Kid's Korner for a great selection of wildfire resources, including safety videos, artwork, magazines, lesson plans & curriculum guides for teachers, and more. Or stop by the WICD office at 1 NE 4th St., Coupeville, WA 98239 to pick-up some great information for your children about Firewise.
Youth have the opportunity to learn about Firewise through a variety of digital and online resources provided by the program. Additionally, they can take part in Firewise Days if your community is interested in becoming a nationally-recognized Firewise Community. See "5-Steps to Become a Firewise Community" below and view WICD's 10-minute Prezi presentation to learn more.