The national Firewise Communities program is a multi-agency effort designed to reach beyond the fire service by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, and others in the effort to protect people, property, and natural resources from the risk of wildland fire - before a fire starts. The Firewise Communities approach emphasizes community responsibility for planning in the design of a safe community as well as effective emergency response, and individual responsibility for safer home construction and design, landscaping, and maintenance.
The national Firewise Communities program is intended to serve as a resource for agencies, organizations, fire departments, and communities across the U.S. who are working toward a common goal: reduce loss of lives, property, and resources to wildland fire by building and maintaining communities in a way that is compatible with our natural surroundings.
Firewise Communities is part of the National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Program, which is directed and sponsored by the Wildland/Urban Interface Working Team (WUIWT) of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, a consortium of wildland fire organizations and federal agencies responsible for wildland fire management in the United States. The WUIWT includes: USDA Forest Service, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, USDI National Park Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, US Fire Administration, International Association of Fire Chiefs, and National Association of State Foresters to name a few.
The Firewise program in South Carolina began in 2001 with the South Carolina Foresry Commission identifying high risk areas and conducting Firewise workshops to community leaders and homeowners in those areas to spread the word about Firewise. Since then seven communities have gone the extra step and have created Firewise Councils/Boards, have developed a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and have held a community Firewise event which often carries out fuels mitigation recommendations identified in the CWPP. The South Carolina Forestry Commission is involved in the assessment process, in the development of the CWPP and in the promotion of the program with the community leaders (i.e. Fire Service) and the homeowners.
South Carolina currently has seven communities receiving the national recognition of Firewise Community/USA status and five of them are located in the Keowee Fire District.
Keowee Key (2006)
Wynward Pointe (2007)
Keowee Harbours (2009)
Waterford Point (2009)
Currently there are three more communities that will be applying for national Firewise Community/USA status within the next few months – all three in Horry County. There has been much interest in the Firewise Community program since the state experienced its worst Wildland urban interface fire in its history last April where 76 homes were destroyed and another 100 damaged by a wildfire.
Click on the link below to access the FireWise Community Renewal Form:
For all of the forms needed to log work hours, fire wise activities, and matching funds request, please use the following link: