A wildfire damaged mobile homes and property in Fallbrook, Calif., in 2007. (Photo by Andrea Booher/FEMA)

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Application Period Begins

Wildfires burn twice as much land area each year, on average, as they did 40 years ago, and the threat continues to increase. In 2018, California saw its deadliest and most destructive fire, the Camp Fire, burn more than 150,000 acres and kill 85 people.

The National Fire Protection Association and State Farm have opened the project funding awards application period for the sixth national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 4, 2019, which helps communities prepare for and reduce their risk of wildfire damage. State Farm is providing funding to NFPA for the Preparedness Day event, and a portion will be awarded to 150 neighborhood wildfire risk reduction projects being implemented on May 4. The organizations say Preparedness Day gives people of all ages a chance to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes their community safer.

Project applications can be submitted through March 1.

NFPA's news release said during Preparedness Day 2018, more than 500 projects were undertaken in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Of those projects, 150 received funding from State Farm for activities that helped make residents and firefighters safer when wildfires happen.

The release noted that wildfires burn twice as much land area each year, on average, as they did 40 years ago, and the threat continues to increase. In 2018, California saw its deadliest and most destructive fire, the Camp Fire, burn more than 150,000 acres and kill 85 people. Wildfires once described by "seasons" are now burning earlier and later in the year across the United States.

"NFPA and State Farm are pleased to be working together again on this, our sixth Preparedness Day campaign," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. "Since our initial launch of Prep Day in 2013, we have watched participation continue to grow. In 2018, we saw devastating wildfires affect communities in California and across the United States, but we are encouraged and inspired by the number of residents who feel empowered to take the necessary action with regard to wildfire safety."

"State Farm finds it important to inform and encourage homeowners and communities to adopt effective wildfire mitigation programs that produce stronger, safer homes where lives are saved and a family's largest investment is better protected," added Underwriting Analyst Vickie Hodges.

For more information about Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, funding awards, project ideas, and free resources to download, visit www.wildfireprepday.org.

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