Wildfire Risk Reduction Training Program Coming Soon

August 04, 2021
Tri-Lakes EPG receives the Wildfire Mitigation Award
The Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, just outside of Colorado Springs, CO, formed an Emergency Preparedness Group (EPG) to help respond to the Waldo Canyon fire (which they could see from their church) back in 2012. They continued this disaster recovery work in 2013 after the Black Forest Fire (two church families lost their homes in that fire!). 

After gaining real-world insights and knowledge into wildfire recovery, this team led by André Mouton and Lisa Hatfield switched their focus from recovery after a fire to reduction of wildfire risk in their area. They found that the optimal result could be obtained by teaching residents and entire neighborhoods about creating defensible space and guiding them through planning and execution of neighborhood mitigation projects.  Towards this end, they developed a program titled “Wildfire Risk Reduction Training for Neighborhood Ambassadors.”
 
 
After successfully working with several neighborhoods in Colorado Springs over the past few years, this group received the national Wildfire Mitigation Award in February of 2020. This competitive award is co-sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) to honor and recognize individuals and organizations for innovation, dedication, and leadership in wildfire mitigation.

The Tri-Lakes EPG team is working with the Mountain Sky Disaster Response Committee to make this award-winning program available across our Conference.  We will scale up this program utilizing volunteers from across the conference to implement this important program in our neighborhoods.  Stay tuned over the next several months as the details on offering this outstanding program are finalized.
 
Submitted by Mike Moore, Mountain Sky Conference Disaster Response Coordinator