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How they can help in extreme situations

When severe wildland fire situations occur as a result of extreme fire weather, wildland fires can cause extensive loss of life, property, and resources. As extreme conditions approach or worsen, wildland fire prevention/education is often overlooked as a possible source of help. Because fire weather conditions are predictable, wildland fire prevention/education teams can be mobilized in advance of fires, when fire danger becomes extreme. Prevention/education teams are available to support any geographic area preceding and during periods of high fire danger or fire activity. The requesting unit may use severity dollars in support of a prevention/education team.

The purpose of Fire Prevention Education Teams

Teams assist the local unit in the prevention of unwanted human-caused wildfires. This involves working together to:

• complete fire risk assessments

• determine the severity of the situation

• facilitate community awareness and education in fire prevention including prescribed burning

• coordinate announcement of interagency restrictions and closures

• coordinate fire prevention efforts with the public, special target groups, state and local agencies, and elected officials

• promote public and personal responsibility regarding fire prevention in the wildland/urban interface

• assist Incident Management Teams in accomplishing their objectives in working with the public develop fire protection plans

• Prevention teams can be deployed for more than just fire, but any disaster such as insect infestation to talk to public and develop products to educate.

Mobilization of a team may occur when an unusual event or circumstance warrants it

Examples are: 
• severe burning conditions 
• unusually high fire occurrence
• majority of firefighting resources committed 
• preparedness levels above normal 
Benefits of Wildland Fire Prevention Education Teams:
• reduce the loss of human life and property
• reduce resource losses
• reduce the cost of suppression
• improve interagency relations

Organization and ordering

A team consists of a Team Leader, a Public Affairs Officer, Prevention Specialist(s), and an optional trainee or other team members as the situation dictates (Finance Officer, Logistics Specialist, etc.). Trained interagency personnel can be mobilized through normal dispatch channels to assist in fire prevention/education at any level of an organization. The individuals ordered for prevention/education teams must have the skills required to fill the position for which they have been ordered.

For more information on Teams and prevention resources

A few images of a recent FPET deployment to Long Island New York in June 2015 to assist Forest Health staff with southern pine beetle education