On May 7th, 2016, the Teton Area Wildfire Protection Coalition (TAWPC) hosted a Community Wildfire Preparedness Day in Jackson, WY. This nationwide effort is jointly sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm Insurance Co. Local communities are free to tailor their preparedness efforts and messaging as they see fit. TAWPC took the approach of modeling our education and outreach efforts around the three primary goals of the National Wildland Fire Cohesive Strategy; to restore and maintain landscapes; create fire adapted communities; and response to wildfire.
The half day event included informational booths and hands on stations. Participants learned the fire history of the area, typical fire regimes and fire severity as well as having opportunities to spray water from a Type 4 wildland fire engine and operate standard household fire extinguishers. Matchstick “forests” were burned in different scenarios to engage youth about the problems of development in the wildland urban interface and the value of defensible space around your home. Smokey Bear greeted visitors and the public had the opportunity to engage fire management professionals from all local agencies in one on one conver;sations about the local fire program and ways they can improve their own preparedness for a wildfire this summer.
Participating agencies included Grand Teton NP, Bridger-Teton NF, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, Teton County Emergency Management, Teton Conservation District, Teton Research Institute - TSS, Wyoming State Forestry Division, and the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. Individual homeowners with long-term commitment to the TAWPC effort also participated in the event.