WILDFIRE RISK ASSESSMENT OF THE WILDLAND-URBAN INTERFACE
(WILDFIRE VULNERABILITY STUDY)
The Emergency Management Preparedness Assistance Grant (EMPAG) program was authorized by the Washington State Legislature in the State Fiscal Year 2007 budget. Walla Walla County received a portion of this grant from Washington State to conduct a Wildland Fire Risk and Hazard Severity Assessment covering a portion of the county.
In the fall of 2006, Walla Walla County Emergency Management Department (WWCEM) contracted with Gunner Fulmer, City of Walla Walla firefighter, to conduct the survey. The purpose of the assessment was to determine where, if any, high-risk wildfire areas are located by conducting a structure-by-structure survey examining certain risk factors.
Only the foothills area of Walla Walla County was surveyed to determine the risk in the area of the county where development meets wildland.
Prior to initiation of the survey a news release was completed advising residents of the upcoming survey. A flyer was developed and distributed where possible.
With the help of Walla Walla County GIS, WWCEM established a list of 487 potential structures in the identified area. Of the 487 structures identified in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), 52 were not surveyed due to properties being inaccessible (gated properties or the owner denied permission to survey) or due to the surveyor being unable to locate a structure. The result was that a total of 435 structures were surveyed:
COMMUNITY WILDFIRE PROTECTION PLAN (CWPP)
The Mill Creek and Walla Walla County Community Wildfire Protection Plan was developed in 2017 by the Mill Creek and Walla Walla County CWPP committee, the City of Walla Walla, and the Oregon Department of Forestry, with project facilitation and support provided by Northwest Management, Inc. of Moscow, Idaho. Funding for the project was provided by the City of Walla Walla, Walla Walla County Emergency Management Department, and the Oregon Department of Forestry. This Community Wildfire Protection Plan will be reviewed annually and updated at least every five years starting from the year of adoption. The Community Wildfire Protection Plan was developed in compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements for a wildfire mitigation plan.
Brush, grass or forest fires don’t have to be disasters. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and other in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks.
The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.
To save lives and property from wildfire, NFPA’s Firewise Communities program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses. We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other from the risk of wildfire.
Please click HERE to access the NFPA FireWise USA website.