COLUMBUS, OH - State forestry officials are working to help minimize the risk of wildland fires to local communities in Ohio through the Firewise Ohio Program, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry.
The Firewise Ohio Program is designed to heighten awareness of the risks inherent to living in a wildland urban interface (WUI) area. Wildland urban interface areas are defined as those where homes are near continuous forests or brush land. People living within the wooded areas of Ohio can receive advice and assistance that could save their home in the event of a wildfire.
"Ohio communities in the wildland urban interface throughout the state could benefit tremendously from Firewise Ohio," said Paul Stevens, chief of Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department in West Portsmouth.
Citizens are encouraged to communicate with their local fire departments about WUI issues and the benefits of applying for Firewise Hazard Mitigation Grants from the ODNR Division of Forestry.
"Community and local involvement is vital to mitigating potentially hazardous situations," said George Moore, chief of Green Township Fire Department in Scioto County. "Property owners and local fire departments can help their communities by working together to take action against wildfire hazards."
Local fire officials are urged to contact Aaron Kloss, Firewise Ohio coordinator at 614-265-6896 for additional information on applying for Firewise Hazard Mitigation Grants.