PRESS RELEASE

Firewise announces release of "Does Evacuation Always Put Life Safety First? A Panel Discussion" DVD


QUINCY, Mass. — The Firewise Communities program has announced the latest product from its collection of educational resources for members of the wildland fire community, a two-disc DVD-ROM set: "Does Evacuation Always Put Life Safety First? A Panel Discussion."

The panel discussion was filmed at the 2006 Firewise Communities Conference Backyards & Beyond, in Denver, Colorado, and features leading experts on the subject including Jack Cohen, Research Scientist from the USDA Forest Service; Dr. Tom Cova, University of Utah; Ethan Foote, California Department of Forestry; and Keith Harrup of the New South Wales (Australia) Fire Service. The group addressed the potential threat to communities as wildfires grow, and explored issues faced by residents and fire incident command staff in evacuation efforts.

The DVD set, now available online at http://www.firewise.org/, documents how these experts tackled questions about life safety during wildfires, including: Is evacuation always the safest means to protect lives in a wildfire? If not, what kind of situations might warrant not evacuating? Are there alternatives to evacuation?

The panel discussion challenges the assumption that evacuation is the only viable measure to protect people in the event of an extreme wildfire. Panelists discuss the alternatives to total evacuation and highlight the past research on this issue. The panel discussion and additional information on these DVDs will challenge all to visualize safer communities in the future, and consider improvements and recommendations for safer living in today's interface communities.

These two DVDs are designed to help initiate discussions among residents and local authorities to explore evacuation alternatives and other appropriate responses to protect residents in the path of a wildfire. In addition to the full two-hour panel discussion and presentation, the DVDs include an abbreviated discussion-starter video that features excerpts of the panel discussion, as well as background materials that can be viewed and printed from your computer.

In addition Firewise Communities is offering its third biannual Backyards and Beyond conference November 6-8, 2008, in Tampa, Florida. More than 450 participants are expected, including residents, community leaders, planners, builders, landscape architects and designers, insurance professionals, and others, who will share information and techniques for protecting lives, property, and resources from fire in the wildland/urban interface. For information on the 2008 conference, visit www.firewise.org/08conference.

Firewise Communities is a public-private cooperative program with the National Fire Protection Association, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, the National Fire Plan, and U.S. Forest Service and Department of Interior. For more information, visit www.firewise.org.

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