Partnerships & Community Engagement

A crucial part of creating fire adapted communities is the principle that it is not up to any one organization or individual to “do it all.” Fire adaptation requires all of us to work together, engaging with partners and our whole community in inclusive and meaningful ways.

True community engagement is about more than information delivery and communication. Active engagement requires us to listen deeply and to learn as much as we teach. We, as practitioners and researchers, cannot be extractive in how we approach community members and partners. We must be supportive of a variety of lived experiences, cultural differences and language access needs. Resources like these toolkits created by the Washington State Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network help communities get a jump-start on wildfire preparation in an inclusive and accessible way.

Working with community members to further wildfire mitigation and adaptation can take many different forms. The Neighborhood Ambassador approach developed and shared by Wildfire Adapted Partnership is one example.

Regardless of the methods you use to engage your community, our approaches to community engagement must be as diverse as our communities themselves. This resource page includes tools, activities and information that will help foster and deepen partnerships and community engagement in your fire adaptation work.


Effective partnerships and community engagement depend upon engagement with the whole community. Consider your community needs. Are all those who live and reside within your area represented in your engagement efforts? If not, work with partners to help develop approaches and partnerships that are inclusive.
Research exists which can help! Consider the available social science and work to better understand the social landscape within your community.

EXPLORE Partnerships & Community Engagement RESOURCES

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Wildfire Outreach Materials

Graphic / Illustration
US Fire Administration
This site provides awareness and prevention materials to share with your community. The goal of the materials is to help your community better live with wildland urban interface fires. Read More

USDA Resource Guide for Rural Workforce Development

Guide / Pamphlet / Handout
USDA Rural Development Innovation Center
This guide provides information on workforce development, federal agency programs, and other resources available through the US Department of Agriculture. The guide is a resource for communities seeking to increase capacity for landscape treatments or residential mitigation through expansion of the workforce. Read More

Understanding Good Neighbor Authority: Case Studies from Across the West

Guide / Pamphlet / Handout
Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition
“The Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) is intended to expand limited federal capacity to implement and plan forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration projects by facilitating partnerships with state agencies. The authority allows a state to perform authorized restoration services on federal land. Additionally, the authority allows a state agency to administer timber sales on federal land,... Read More

Tips for Engaging Elected Officials

Guide / Pamphlet / Handout
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
In 2021, FAC Net hosted a learning group all about policy.  Close to 70 wildfire practitioners from 17 states convened virtually to learn more about how to engage with agencies, elected officials, staff, and more.  Learning group participants met monthly to deepen their individual skills, hear from those working in the policy sphere, and learn more about... Read More

Social Vulnerability Index Interactive Map

Website / Interactive Map
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Interactive map which can help communities determine their social vulnerability. Data can be viewed at the county or census tract level. Can be used to demonstrate vulnerability for the purposes of a Community Wildfire Defense Grant. Read More

Smoke Resources from the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network

Guide / Pamphlet / Handout
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
This resource page has three handouts available for download. These resources came out of the Smoke Learning Group series hosted by FAC Net (spring – summer 2021) for FAC Net members, as well as the two-part Prescribed Fire and Community Health webinars co-hosted by FAC Net and the West Region of the Wildland Fire Leadership... Read More

Smoke Readiness for Low Income, Indigenous Communities

Bill Tripp
The October 2020 National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Conference featured a presentation on Smoke Readiness for Low Income, Indigenous Communities by Bill Tripp of the Karuk Tribe. Bill’s presentation begins at 1:27.10 and runs until 1:35.47.  Bill highlights the impacts of smoke to human health as well as the benefits of lower levels of smoke as... Read More

Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition

Website / Interactive Map
Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition
The Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition (RVCC) works to advance policy and foster learning throughout the rural West. Issue papers, resources, and webinars can all be found on this website. Read More

Planning for ASL Interpretation: A Guide For Facilitators

Agenda / Template / Tool
Washington Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
This toolkit includes information and tips for planning events, communicating with interpreters and persons requesting interpretive services, and preparing facilitators, presenters, and the audience. Specific resources included for the state of Washington, but information in generally widely applicable. Read More

Northeast Wildfire Preparedness Guide

Guide / Pamphlet / Handout
Northeast Regional Cohesive Strategy Committee
This guide on preparing for a wildfire, produced by the Northeast Regional Strategy Committee (NE RSC), is intended to assist homeowners, Homeowner Associations (HOAs), neighborhood groups, civic and community leaders, and fire service personnel in the Northeast and Midwest United States Read More
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Photo Credit: Ed Keith, Deschutes County
Community Profile
Fire Adaptation in the Field
Barnegat Township, New Jersey

The New Jersey Fire Safety Council worked with Sustainable Jersey to create an innovative partnership for wildfire resiliency. Building upon Sustainable Jersey’s successful municipal outreach program, partners worked to add wildfire adaptation actions to the menu of actions which count toward a community’s achievement of Bronze or Silver certification. This creative partnership enabled wildfire to become part of the conversation for communities working toward sustainability certification in New Jersey. With 800,000 people living near the 1.1 million acres of Pine Barrens, partnerships like these are essential to fire adaptation in New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Matt Hecht, U.S. National Guard shared via Flickr Creative Commons