Reduce Your Community's Risk from Wildfires
With fires raging in the LA area, schools opening up for the start of the school year, and the upcoming fire prevention week this October, what better time is it than now to raise fire prevention awareness?
Anywhere is fire prone, both in the wildlands and in our communities. Wherever fire strikes, we must be ready and better prepared. This is especially true of the wildland urban interface (WUI), which includes LA and Long Island, and all the communities in between, East, West, North, and South. Be safe, and be ready to pitch in and help your community save lives, and protect you from fire. Learn what it takes to be a firefighter and do it for community service. But how many of us really know the signs of fire danger and how many of us would it take to prevent a fire disaster? If only we knew how.
According to the US Fire Administration, in 2008, "fire has killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined." But it wasn't until Long Island experienced it's worst wildland fire in recent times, in 1995, that East met West. According to the US Forest Service Northern Research Station's Research Review, Winter 2009, "Across the United States, 9.4% of all land is classified as WUI and 38.5% of all homes are in the WUI; in 19 of the lower 48 states, more than half all homes are in the WUI." The wildland urban interface is another word for the suburbs, an intricate balance of wildlands and developed lands. This is when Mindy Block, founder and president of the charitable organization, Quality Parks, became a firefighter. In her own words, "For a brief moment in time, I put my life on the line, to better understand what it takes to protect our communities from fire, and to also be a forest friendly firefighter."
Mindy Block envisions "Quality Parks to be a vehicle for change, positive change, that will improve the quality of our lives and the natural resources that we rely on for survival, recreation, enjoyment, spiritual renewal, and nature's conservation." Quality Parks annually services 70 volunteer requests - - who help in their productions; 400 news subscribers, and 40 registered users. Their first major publication, Sunrise Fire, is a "Harry Potter age story," Mindy says, about firefighting for the next generation. It is a story about three girls who join the fire service for high school community service. And the two boys who struggle with what it takes to be a good leader, and a team player. Sunrise Fire details information on fire prevention, safety, and training for both wildland fire and structural firefighting, and forestry conservation, combining science & fiction into an exciting new adventure story. For more information, http://www.qualityparks.org/content/sunrise-fire.
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