NFPA unveils Outthink Wildfire

Outthink Wildfire

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TheNational Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have launched Outthink Wildfire™, a comprehensive strategy to address America’s wildfire crisis. The strategy lays out five policy changes that must occur at all levels of government to end the destruction of communities from wildfire in the U.S. in the next 30 years.

In just the past three years, the country has seen 40,000 structures destroyed, 100 fatalities, and has paid out nearly $40 billion in insured losses due to wildfire. Each year, the U.S. spends at least $2 billion supporting fire suppression yet structure loss due to wildfire has increased more than 160 percent. Communities must adopt practices to lower the risk to lives, homes, businesses, and overall prosperity, or face greater loss of life and property.

“While there is widespread destruction from wildfire, there is not widespread regulatory action and a concerted effort to put in place policies to reverse the dangerous trend,” said Jim Pauley, NFPA president & CEO. “Without a new approach we will not be able to dramatically change outcomes from wildfires in the wildland/urban interface. Outthink Wildfire puts forth key strategies that will make it easier for communities to foster collaboration, enact change, achieve resilience, and protect themselves from wildfire.”

Outthink Wildfire is rooted in two realities – wildfires are going to happen, and the fire service will not be able to extinguish these fires at a pace to save people and property in their path. While voluntary individual and community actions continue to play a role in overall efforts to reverse the course of loss, this action alone is not enough to stem the tide of losses from wildfire. All levels of government must support these key policy changes if the nation is to reduce the billions in losses that wildfires generate for the U.S. each year.

As the average number of acres burned in wildfires each year rises over time, communities in wildfire hazard zones cannot continue down the same path. Through collaboration that begins with policy implementation, the U.S. can better protect its neighborhoods, citizens, and first responders. The key to ending the destruction of communities by wildfire is to start now.

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