Live Wildfire Ready
Tracy LeClair – PIO1/PIOC, CO-CEM®
Communications & Outreach Specialist
Wildland Fire Management Section
Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control
Live Wildfire Ready is a new campaign in Colorado designed to inform homeowners about what they can do to mitigate wildfire risk to their life, home and property. The campaign is funded by the State of Colorado and was developed by the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC), USDA Forest Service (USFS), and Colorado State Fire Chiefs (CSFC). The campaign launched in May of 2023, in coordination with the Governor’s proclamation designating May as Wildfire Awareness Month.
Members of Fire Adapted Colorado are encouraged to participate in the campaign! Read on to learn more about Live Wildfire Ready and how you can get involved.
From the beginning, the steering committee of the CSFS, DFPC, USFS and CSFC recognized that there is no “one size fits all” for a state as large and diverse as Colorado. Not only are the fuels and topography drastically different, the communities and the audiences are just as varied. To guide their work, the steering committee focused on the following statement from Senate Bill 22-007, which directed and funded this campaign:
“While homeowners and property owners in Colorado bear the ultimate responsibility to prepare their homes and property for wildfire, many still do not understand this responsibility, the risk they face living in the wildland-urban interface, or the necessary steps to reduce their wildfire risk.”
The primary objective of Live Wildfire Ready is to raise awareness among residents to be prepared for wildfire through practical, simple, low-cost actions that help protect their homes and properties. The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is anywhere where the built environment meets or intermingles with a natural environment; therefore, more than half of all Coloradans live in the WUI and are at risk from wildfires. Nine of the 20 largest wildfires in Colorado’s history (45%) have occurred since 2018. Fifteen of those (75%) have occurred since 2012, and all 20 (100%) have occurred since 2001. Now – more than ever – it is important to encourage people who live in the WUI to live wildfire ready and empower them to take action and prepare their homes and properties for wildfire.
The Live Wildfire Ready campaign is designed to play on emotion, without being fear-based. “Live” evokes the idea that being “wildfire ready” must be part of the Colorado way of life – something that should be second nature to Coloradans who live in the WUI, as routine as mowing the lawn or cleaning the gutters. “Wildfire Ready” is designed to be clear and direct, and to promote a sense of empowerment.
Be Part of the Campaign!
The steering committee also worked to ensure that the Live Wildfire Ready campaign would build additional tools to complement, not replace or duplicate, the work of other partners in wildfire mitigation in Colorado. The website livewildfireready.org includes a link to a partner toolkit in the footer. The toolkit includes templates for social media, newsletters and news releases that you can customize to your organization, plus the Live Wildfire Ready brand and other campaign materials.
All FACO members are encouraged to be part of the campaign! Share social media posts and use the hashtag #LiveWildfireReady. Use the partner toolkit and offer ideas for additional tools and tactics. Support local efforts for the campaign as they are developed. List your organization’s website on the campaign webpage as a local resource for homeowners, and help spread the word!