Recorded virtual meeting of the 2022 Tennessee Fire Adapted Communities Conference
This annual conference provided information for community leaders, homeowners and other organizations who learned about Tennessee’s Fire Adapted Communities Program, heard the latest updates from the National Firewise USA Program and shared ideas and information that will make their communities safer from wildfire. A special presentation was given by Pam Wilson with the Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT) that just completed their assignment working in Sevier and Cocke Counties to identify and help resolve their hazard mitigation challenges, improve the delivery of long-term mitigation efforts, and provide recommendations to current programs, priorities and activities.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry has been a proponent of wildfire hazard reduction programs throughout its history. The Division has partnered with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and its federal partners to promote the Firewise Communities program since 2002.
The Division actively promotes Fire Adapted Communities, in which a multitude of programs and concepts work hand in hand to increase community wildfire safety.
Fire Adapted Community Concept
A fire adapted community accepts fire as part of the natural landscape. The community understands its fire risk, and takes action before, during and after a wildfire to minimize harm to residents, homes, businesses, parks, utilities, and other community assets. These collective actions empower all residents to be safer in their environment. The graphic below shows current elements of the concept. The elements have been evolving and changing over time…just like a community needs to be adapting over time. A community using the concept may not have to address all elements shown in the graphic, however, it is important for a community to consider how important all elements are to the community. In a way, you can consider the elements of the graphic as a checklist for the community to consider.