The Arkansas Firewise USA program is a wildfire-safety initiative that works through fire departments to educate and protect communities from wildfires. As part of the NFPA’s Firewise USA program, AFC encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in creating fire-adapted communities – places where people and property are safer from the risk of brush, grass, and forest fires. Beyond training and education, the program offers grant money to fire departments that complete required training and projects to help fund wildfire equipment and future wildfire mitigation projects.
In Arkansas, many homes are built in the wildland/urban interface (communities with both homes and natural areas in close proximity to one another), which makes them at a higher risk for wildfire damage. The Firewise USA program outlines specific strategies for improving the defensible space (area 30-300 feet surrounding a home between the structure and surrounding forested area) around homes - through fire department efforts - to improve community-wide wildfire danger.