USFA Guide Highlights Community-Wide Fire Safety

The concept behind fire-adapted communities is that with proper community-wide preparation, populations and infrastructure can withstand the devastating effects of wildland fire.

The U. S. Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, has released Your Role in Fire-Adapted Communities. This new guide promotes a holistic approach to wildland fire risk reduction in the wildland urban interface and addresses actions to improve individual and community safety.

For communities to become more resistant to wildland fire threats, a strong collaboration must exist between federal, state, and local agencies and the public. Aligning with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) "whole community" principles, this guide encourages a community environment where individuals have access to critical information and the knowledge necessary to reduce the loss of life and property.

"It is important that fire departments partner with other local emergency response departments, state fire and forestry agencies, and any regional federal organizations before a fire begins," said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell.

The concept behind fire-adapted communities is that with proper community-wide preparation, populations and infrastructure can withstand the devastating effects of wildland fire, thereby reducing the loss of life and property. In addition to understanding wildland fire defensible space and preparedness, the guide further explains how a community can coexist with the threat of wildland fire and ultimately reduce the need for costly fire suppression responses. As the science of fire-adapted communities continues to evolve, agencies and the public can take steps now to understand better the role they play and actions they can take to coexist safely with wildland fire threats.

Your Role in Fire-Adapted Communities can be downloaded under the Publications section of the USFA website at:

Go to FEMA’s website at for information on the "whole community" approach to emergency management.

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