When local wildfire agencies are concerned that fire danger in their area is getting extreme, they can ask for a visit from a national team of experts. One of those teams has been in Boise this week. National Wildfire Prevention and Education Teams conduct short, intense messaging campaigns. The National Interagency Fire Center describes the program this way.
“As extreme conditions approach or worsen, wildland fire prevention/education is often overlooked as a possible source of help. Because fire weather conditions are predictable, wildland fire prevention/education teams can be mobilized in advance of fires, when fire danger becomes extreme. Prevention/education teams are available to support any geographic area preceding and during periods of high fire danger or fire activity.” - NIFC
You may have seen advertising in the “one less spark – one less wildfire” campaign. It includes ideas such as don’t drag chains while towing boats or campers and make really sure your campfire is out. When a community or a state or a region wants to get those messages to as many people as possible in a short time, they call Joe Schindel and his seven person team.
Some of them, including Schindel, are based in Idaho but other members live in Virginia and Texas. Together they’ve traveled as far as Georgia pushing fire prevention.
“The local resources try to do this themselves so we are helping them by creating PSAs public service announcements, working with a broad range of media types, dealing with social media specifically,” Schindel says. “We’re making contacts with people, we’ve driven a fair amount just within the state of Idaho, speaking with local officials, speaking with the public, you know people who are actually out there recreating.”
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