Wildfire response is an important component of community fire adaptation. From Rangeland Fire Protection Associations to the creation of Potential Operational Delineations, communities are exploring what it means to safely and effectively respond to wildland fire. Who should respond to wildland fires? How are local fire departments engaging in wildland fire? Are there places we can use local knowledge, together with the best in fire science, to make decisions about fire control and management? How can communities interact with incident management teams or share their values before a fire to better inform decision-making on the ground? The nature of wildfire response is multifaceted and complex.

The development of a robust local fire workforce, creation and implementation of mutual aid agreements, and strong interagency collaboration all supports safe and effective wildfire response. Check out the tools, resources, and stories about wildfire response below.


Who responds to wildfires in your area? Are there places in your community which do not have any designated wildfire response? When local resources are expended, what happens?
Urban conflagrations (fires which spread unchecked from structure to structure) are occurring with more frequency. Consider these events when evaluating your local response capacity. If you experienced structure-to-structure ignition in your community, how would you respond?
What pathways exist for local resources to support wildfire response? Are there ways local equipment operators can support suppression operations? Are these pathways known and accessible or, if not, are there things you can do to support the connection of local resources to wildfire management operations?


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Why Rangeland Fire Protection Associations Matter

Blog Post / Story
Emily Jane Davis, Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network Blog
This blog post from Emily Jane Davis speaks to the purpose of Rangeland Fire Protection Associations (RFPAs), discusses enabling conditions, and covers the advantages. Contains links to learn more about the research surrounding RFPAs and a storymap. Read More

Tracking Damage and Air Quality Impacts from Fires

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
This page from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) offers tools and information on how their data and applied research supports decision-making for federal, state and local response agencies before, during and after a fire. Read More

The Panic Myth: What Does the Research Say and What Can Practitioners Do?

Blog Post / Story
Sarah McCaffrey, Annie Schmidt
This blog article, posted by the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network, focuses on what the research says about panic and information delivery during disasters as well as provides helpful tips on how to better communicate. Written from both a research and practitioner perspective, the blog contains lots of helpful tips and resources for additional learning. Read More

Show Me for Emergencies (App)

Agenda / Template / Tool
Massachusetts Dept of Public Health
Show Me for Emergencies is a free app for emergency workers and people with communication needs. It uses easy-to-understand icons for two-way communication during an emergency. This is an app for download. Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/show-me-for-emergencies/id840012297 Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.ma.dph.showme&hl=en_US&gl=US Read More

Rangeland Fire Protection Associations: An Alternative Model for Wildfire Response

Authors: Emily Jane Davis, Jesse Abrams, Katherine Wollstein, Alethea Steingisser, James E. Meacham
This study analyzed the establishment, functioning, successes and challenges of the Rangeland Fire Protection Association (RFPA) model through four case studies. Case studies focus on individual RFPAs in Oregon and Idaho and their respective state programs during 2015–16. Read More

Quick Response Research Award Program

Natural Hazards Center
The Quick Response Research Award Program provides funds and training for eligible researchers to collect data in the aftermath of extreme events to document disaster before memories fade and physical evidence is erased. Read More

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

Website / Interactive Map
Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
This website can help those seeking to provide contract services to the government. You can find a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) in your state. Read More

Preparing for Wildfire: A Round-Up of Fire Weather Resources

Blog Post / Story
Tiernan Doyle, Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
Weather predictions and air quality forecasts impact work before, during, and after wildfires. This round-up of weather resources contains helpful links and tools centered on fire and weather. Read More

Preparing for Power Outages

Guide / Pamphlet / Handout
This page details some basic steps for responding to power outages during an emergency. It also covers important things to keep in mind if evacuating during a power outage, and provides links to other resources. Read More

Potential Operational Delineations

Website / Interactive Map
USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
“The Rocky Mountain Research Station Wildfire Risk Management Science (WRMS) Team co-developed Potential Operational Delineations (PODs) to pre-plan for fire using a risk management approach, and to give land managers a formal process for developing landscape-scale wildfire response options before fires start. PODs are spatial units or containers defined by potential control features, such as roads and ridge tops, within which... Read More
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Photo Credit: Amanda Stamper, The Nature Conservancy
Community Profile
Fire Adaptation in the Field
Oregon and Idaho

Communities in Oregon and Idaho have expanded their capacity for wildfire response through the creation of “Rangleland Fire Protection Associations” (RFPAs). RFPAs are trained volunteers who are authorized to respond to wildfires. RFPAs are typically non-profit organizations comprised of rural ranchers, farmers, and other landowners who are outside of, or on the outskirts of, other fire response jurisdictions. RFPAs give local communities the training and skills necessary to respond to wildfires in their place. Oregon and Idaho have state authorities enabling the creation of RFPAs.

Photo Credit: EJ Davis, Oregon State University