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Michele Steinberg
Quincy, Massachusetts
NFPA's Wildland Fire Projects Manager
Interests: disaster safety, natural hazards, land use planning, wildland fire, mitigation, Firewise, community action, social behavior change, professional certification, training, home safety
Recent Activity
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A super article in Firefighter Nation this month addresses fire incident command and the special challenges of coping with fast-moving fires that enter subdivisions and communities - those tricky, dangerous wildland/urban interface fires. Author Jim Linardos, a friend of Firewise, a fire service leader and no stranger to WUI fires... Continue reading
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Arkansas Firewise efforts include the whole community, including animals in shelters. Read for inspiration and great cat photos! It's a jungle out there... This local story link requires a quick free survey to read the entire article. http://www.lovelycitizen.com/story/2130885.html Continue reading
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Imagine a place where people live surrounded by beautiful natural areas, where residents love the environment and enjoy recreational opportunities such as riding, outdoor sports and just walking the dog. People live in homes that they cherish, and are engaged in local community activities such as school, church and local... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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A story in yesterday's Payson Roundup elaborated on how leaders in this fire-prone community were working on educating residents to become safer from wildfire. Today's community event was specifically tied in to national Fire Prevention Week and was designed to help people learn what they can do to make their... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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As my NFPA colleagues have pointed out in earlier blogs this week, Fire Prevention Week began early in the 20th century as a response to the 1871 Great Chicago Fire and the Peshtigo Fire. Major urban conflagrations at the end of the 19th century and on into the early 1900s... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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I attended an excellent workshop on October 9 led by Rob Gazzard of the Forestry Commission England, along with members of the fire service in southern England, Nature England staffers, and a lead volunteer from the Heathland Conservation Society. Land managers and fire fighters alike shared knowledge and worked through... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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More than a decade ago, former NFPA staffer Denise Laitinen, a journalist and community and fire education specialist, moved to Hawaii and instituted local Firewise programming in cooperation with the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Under the auspices of Firewise Communities Hawaii, Denise recently conducted an unprecedented week-long Firewise... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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April's devastating fire in Valparaiso, Chile, reminded me in many ways of similar scenarios in the US, including the media's tendency to call out each fire event as "the worst" that has ever happened. But in many ways, government leadership included, Chile's recovery from a "worst ever" event in a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, is providing significant resources and support to communities to help them become more resilient. The National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) is a two-phase process that will competitively award nearly $1 billion in HUD Disaster Recovery... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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What's colorful and loaded with Firewise facts and 7 essential vitamins? Why, it's the new infographic about Firewise Communities/USA, of course! (OK, I made up that part about the vitamins). NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division teamed with our communications colleagues to build a compelling visual display of key data about... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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How do wildfires burn homes? We currently know quite a lot about this question from research from the USDA Forest Service Fire Lab, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As more fire science research emerges, NFPA has realized... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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Whether you call it a go-kit, emergency supplies or a 72-hour kit, during this 3rd week of September, America's Prepare-A-Thon theme is how to build an emergency kit. Have what you need ready to go when you are - and feel more prepared and less scared during a wildfire or... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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Join NFPA, the Hazards Caucus Alliance, the University of California at Riverside and San Diego, and the Western Governors Association for an informative briefing on wildfire science, policy, mitigation and response tomorrow, Sep. 11 from 11:30 am to 1 p.m. at room 421 of the Cannon House Office Building in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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"If you know your history, then you know where you're coming from," Bob Marley once sang. After ten years working on wildfire safety, reading Timothy Egan's The Big Burn really helped me understand the roots of American wildland fire suppression policy and forest management in a new way. The PBS... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
In the current issue of NFPA Journal, NFPA President Jim Pauley shares some numbers and stats on wildfire and gives his assessment: we still have work to do. Read or listen to what Jim has to say about the growing threat of wildfire and where we need to take action.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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I'm excited to have a place on the agenda at the annual conference of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, better known as FLASH. The Florida-based national non-profit is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters - sounds like a mission... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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In a recent article in the online magazine Fire Fighter Nation, Chief Rich Cowger of the Columbus (Montana) Fire Rescue Department provides a compelling argument for fire departments to pay attention to wildfire, regardless of whether they are east or west of the Mississippi. Chief Cowger recognizes that "the wildland/urban... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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If you're out and about in Boise, make a visit to the Idaho Botanical Garden nearby the Old Penitentiary Historic District. Among the beautiful plants and attractive landscapes, you'll find a wonderful Firewise Garden established via a partnership among the Idaho Botanical Garden, Bureau of Land Management, and the College... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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The Prescott Area Wildland/Urban Interface Commission was born in 1990 from the flames of an earlier fire in the region. The 1983 Thumb Butte fire was a catalyst for a long-term effort to improve communication and standardization of equiment among area firefighting agencies. This broad collaborative approach blossomed over the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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Within a few short months of signing a memorandum of understanding with US partners, the Chief Fire Officers Association of the United Kingdom is helping guide outreach and projects to prepare residents for wildfire. According to Alan Clark, Area Commander with the Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, with support, advice... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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NFPA has gotten a lot of requests lately from our friends in the states wanting to know "where do we rank with Firewise?" Of course, they are referring to the numbers of active Firewise Communities/USA sites in each state. Check out this list, pulled from our data just yesterday. These... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Thanks for the comment, Alex. We hope that USAA's example will create some interest in the insurance market for encouraging behaviors leading to loss reduction.
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I had a great opportunity last week to spend valuable time with California partners including the California Fire Safe Council staff (who serve as the state's Firewise liaison) and staff of the Sacramento Metro Fire District (who have hosted numerous offerings of NFPA's Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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It is kind of quiet in the Quincy office of NFPA today, as many of our staff are participating in NFPA's annual Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. And I'm not sure if it's simply because it's the season or what, but there have been an unusually large number of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
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KRDO TV in Colorado reported on yesterday's field tour by members of the national Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network at their annual meeting near Colorado Springs. There are currently 18 Fire Adapted Communities network participants from all over the U.S. Woodland Park, northwest of the city of Colorado Springs, is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog