Wildfire Adapted Missoula County (WAMCo) is live!
Welcome! This project has been in the making for over two years since a group of local agency representatives met in March 2016 to begin building a Cohesive Strategy Work Group (CSWG). They came together realizing the need to address wildfire risk with a cross-boundary, interagency approach that includes everyone; from the local homeowner and business owners, to county, state and public land officials, because wildfire knows no boundaries.
To begin, they worked on the three aspects of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy; Forest Resilience, Fire Adapted Communities, and Coordinated Response which led to assisting Missoula County to complete a revision of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) in the spring of 2018.
Since that time, multiple projects, programs and initiatives have been implemented with the goals of reducing wildfire risk to Missoula County, but the team quickly realized the need for a website that easily connected the general public to resources and information.
To create a website, we teamed up with a University of Montana Business and Marketing Class who designed the site over the course of the Spring 2020 Semester. Bright and talented student teams pitched design ideas and then got to work. All the ideas were great, and we ended up selecting the site design you are experiencing now!
The WAMCo site is intended to be that one-stop-shop for the citizens of Missoula County. Features include:
An interactive map that describes the work being done on the public side of the fence and resources that are available in the Missoula area to do the work needed on the private side of the fence too;
Residents can learn how to harden a home and about the Home Ignition Zone;
Residents can learn how to prepare for evacuation;
Connect with a professional home risk assessment and recommendations on wildfire risk mitigation;
Information on debris burning and burn permits.
The people behind WAMCo are your neighbors - we live here too. We’re dedicated to implementing the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, connecting you to the information you need, and getting work done on the ground so when a wildfire starts, we can all breathe easier.
Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of each homeowner to reduce their risk to wildfire, so we encourage everyone to use the information on the site and to share it with neighbors. There’s a saying in wildfire risk management, “The risk to your home often depends upon the preparedness of your entire neighborhood.” We are all in this together. If one of your neighbors can’t do the work, or can’t afford the work, check out the “Programs” page for cost-share mitigation programs in the Missoula area.
The goal of WAMCo is to help residents not only prepare for a wildfire, but to understand the critical role that fire plays in the western Montana landscape to maintain the health and resiliency of our forests. To be successful we need to work together at every level - Tribal, Federal, State, County, Municipal, and Private, utilizing a cohesive, strategic approach. Knowledge, preparation and working toward that common goal of reducing wildfire risk will help us create a wildfire adapted community and a healthy surrounding forest ecosystem right here in Missoula County.
We’re so excited to finally launch the site. And, of course, we’d love your feedback. Please take some time to contact us on our home page.
Special thanks to Professors Clay Looney, Senior Systems Engineer Reda Haddouch, the University of Montana Business Marketing students who designed the site, and Jessica, our intern who has been invaluable in making the site ready for roll-out.
Thanks for doing your part to make Missoula County a Wildfire-Adapted Community!