Image by Patrick Fore

Wildfire Preparedness

Wildfire risk is increasing in western Washington due to environmental and human factors:

  • Increasing air temperature     

  • Decreasing summer rain   

  • Earlier snowmelt

  • Residential encroachment into forested areas with high wildfire risk​

It all adds up to drier fuels and forests that are more receptive to ignition and spread of wildfire.

Whatcom Conservation District offers a comprehensive wildfire preparedness and education program to landowners across Whatcom County. As of 2019, we’ve been partnering with the Skagit Conservation District to offer the same program.  While each county has their unique settings and circumstances, wildfire doesn’t recognize political boundaries.  The current regional Wildfire Risk Reduction Program provides a more efficient and collaborative approach to addressing wildfire risk across both counties. We have the knowledge and resources to help homeowners and communities understand their wildfire risk and feel empowered to take preparedness actions.

 

Homeowner/Resident Assistance

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Homeowners play an essential role in whether or not their home will survive in a wildfire. Simple actions taken ahead of time can reduce the risk of damage or destruction to a home, provide a better chance for fire fighters to defend the home, and reduce the risk of spreading fire to neighbors.

 

To find out how you can improve the safety of your property from wildfire, sign up for a FREE and customized on-site assessment. With this assessment you will also receive helpful resources and a report that defines which actions to take to improve your property’s resilience from wildfire.

 

Neighborhood Assistance

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Addressing wildfire risk to your property doesn’t have to be done alone. Working together with your neighbors or community allows for a team effort to address your shared risk. One of the best methods for addressing neighborhood-scale wildfire risk is through the NFPA Firewise USA® Program. This program provides a framework for communities to learn about and address their wildfire risk together. Some benefits include access to wildfire professionals as well as access to grant and project funding opportunities.

A great first step for a neighborhood to begin addressing wildfire concerns is to schedule a neighborhood presentation on wildfire risk and preparedness.

 

You can contact our Wildfire Risk Reduction Program Coordinator directly by emailing jcoe@whatcomcd.org

To see which communities in Whatcom County are currently participating in the Firewise USA® Program, check out this map.

Please visit our Resources section to access more information including guidance on evacuation, communication, and more.

Map of Firewise Sites in Whatcom County

 

Partnerships

Collaboration and partnerships are at the root of building community resilience to wildfire. Whether its agencies and organizations working together or neighbors working with other neighbors; wildfire adaptation is most successful when approached collaboratively. Everyone has a role to play in wildfire adaptation.  Illustrated below are a number of the different components and actions associated with fire adaptation. So far, Whatcom CD has focused their program efforts on the components outlined in orange.

If you’d like to partner with the Whatcom Conservation District on wildfire adaptation, please email our Wildfire Risk Reduction Program Coordinator at jcoe@whatcomcd.org 

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Resources

 
​Residents

Livestock Owners
  • Farmers Campus

    • Free interactive self-led course that helps you build a Wildfire Resilience Plan for your farm and/or community

    • A Podcast that features stories from farmers and ranchers impacted by wildfire

    • Library of video and print resources including en español​

Neighborhoods

Our Wildfire Partners
Understanding Wildfire Risk
 

Events

Questions?  Contact Jenny Coe, WCD’s Community Wildfire Resilience Coordinator at jcoe@whatcomcd.org or 360-526-2381 x106

 

 

Whatcom County Wildfire Risk Reduction Progress Report

 

 

Photo Credits: Community Education & Risk Planning photo: Isaac Colgan,  Header photo (Goodell Creek Fire): Skagit Valley Herald, Collective Impact photo: Scott Terrell-Skagit Valley Herald.