Wildfire Awareness event at Hemet, California

Wildfire Awareness Week at Hemet
Wildfire Awareness Week at Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base. CAL FIRE photo. (click to enlarge)

This week most of the western states are observing Wildfire Awareness Week. In California high-ranking folks in CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service have been on a road trip hosting events such as this one in Southern California at Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base.

Chief John Hawkins
Chief John Hawkins discusses fire preparedness at Hemet-Ryan. CAL FIRE photo. (click to enlarge)

Wildfire Awareness Week, 2014

Alabaugh Fire
Alabaugh Fire. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

Many states observe Wildfire Awareness Week, with goals of raising the public awareness of wildfires and promoting actions that reduce the risk from wildfire to homes and communities.

  • Arizona: Southwest Wildfire Awareness Week, March 30-April 5, 2014
  • California: always the first week in May, May 4-10, 2014
  • Colorado: Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week, March 16-21, 2014.
  • Florida: second week in April
  • Idaho: first full week in June
  • Kansas: February 16-22, 2014
  • Michigan: Wildfire Safety & Awareness Week, March 16-22, 2014
  • Montana: June 2-8, 2014
  • Nebraska: March 24-28, 2014
  • New Mexico: Southwest Wildfire Awareness Week, March 30-April 5, 2014
  • Nevada: Wildfire Awareness Month, May 1-31, 2014
  • Oregon: (first full week of May) May 7-11, 2014
  • Pennsylvania: March 16-22, 2014
  • South Dakota: May 2-9, 2014
  • Washington: May 5-11, 2013

(UPDATE May 3, 2014: News3 reports, “A multi-state proclamation, signed by the Governors of Nevada, California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington, recognizes May 2014 as Wildfire Awareness Month and encourages all citizens to “learn to live safely in a wildfire environment.”)

The seven states and four Canadian provinces in the Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission’s Compact will observe Wildfire Awareness Week April 20-26, 2014. This will include the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York, as well as the Canadian provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Labrador.

If you have updated information about exactly when states will observe Wildfire Awareness Week this year, or standard time periods each year, let us know.

The International Association of Wildland Fire has proclaimed the weeks of May 1–7 (northern hemisphere) and October 1–7 (southern hemisphere) to be “Global Wildfire Awareness Week”. The NPFA will observe May 3, 2014 as the first “National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day”.

Handout materials

  • Organizations can order many free Firewise outreach materials (including brochures, posters, bookmarks, DVDs, door hangers, stickers, and an interactive Firewise Challenge Exhibit Kit) from http://firewise.org/catalog.aspx.
  • A variety of wildfire prevention materials are available to local, state, tribal and federal partners to purchase from http://www.symbols.gov.
  • The U.S. Fire Administration also has some free publications and handouts.

Wildfire Awareness Week

This week four five states are observing Wildfire Awareness Week: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.  We did some research and were able to find 12 states that in recent years have observed a week to emphasize wildfire prevention. Unfortunately the dates for the week are scattered from the second week in April through late June. If there were agreement for all states to observe it at the same time each year, there could be national fire prevention campaigns to raise public awareness. Synergy.

In a step towards this goal, this year the states of California, Nevada, and Oregon jointly proclaimed May 1-8 (or 2-8) as “Multi-State Wildfire Awareness Week”. We suggest that other states make it their policy to declare the first full week in May as “Wildfire Awareness Week”. Or perhaps it could be a month or so earlier to accommodate the spring fire seasons of some areas. The National Association of State Foresters should coordinate this fire prevention opportunity.

  • Alaska: May 3-9, 2010
  • Arizona: (In Flagstaff [only?] it was April 24-May 1, 2010; In 2008 both NM and AZ had a joint WAW March 29-April 4, 2008)
  • California: first week in May, May 2-8, 2010
  • Colorado: (In 2008 it was June 22-28)
  • Florida: second week in April, April 11-17, 2010
  • Idaho: first full week in June
  • Maine: third week in April
  • Michigan: April 18-24, 2010
  • Montana: (In 2008 it was May 12-16)
  • New Mexico: March 28-April 3, 2010
  • Nevada: May 1-8, 2010
  • Oregon: (first full week of May) May 2-8, 2010
  • Pennsylvania: March 14-20, 2010
  • Texas: (in 2006 it was April 1-8)
  • Washington: May 2-8, 2010

If you are aware of any other states that observe Wildfire Awareness Week, let us know in a response or comment. We’ll add the additional dates as they come in.