U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Idaho BLM State Office
|Release Date: 06/17/11|
Local Students to Study Foothills and Work to Prevent Wildfires
BOISE, ID – During the week of June 20, local high school students will be working in the Boise Foothills to show homeowners how to increase their homes’ survivability during a wildfire.
The City of Boise, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and State Farm Insurance have partnered to promote the Field Inquiry Research Education program (F.I.R.E. Up for Summer) for high school students. The program is designed to teach homeowners about protecting their property from wildfire.
The students, who are juniors, seniors and recent graduates from high schools throughout the Treasure Valley, will collect data on vegetation and structures in and around the foothills and will map the area using GIS/GPS units. They will then use computer software, known as Red Zone, to input data about structures in the subdivisions, to calculate each home’s hazard value and to suggest specific mitigation measures homeowners can take to make their homes safer from wildfire.
“Since the tragic 2008 Oregon Trail Fire, more Boise residents have recognized the importance of keeping their homes safe from wildland fire,” Mayor Bieter said. ‘The innovative F.I.R.E. Up for Summer program is a helpful resource that will evaluate the level of vulnerability of homes within the survey area and provide those residents the information they need to keep their families and property safe. I encourage all citizens whose homes are evaluated to make the needed adjustments to prevent tragedy from striking again.”
Boise City and BLM employees will use the students’ findings to provide homeowners suggestions on improving their homes’ resistance to wildfire, as well as treatment options for fire-prone vegetation in and around the foothills area, which can be used to improve the entire vicinity’s resistance to wildfire.
“This is an incredible opportunity for students to do real on-the-ground field research, be stewards of our public lands, earn college credits and help their communities,” says Dan Nogales, Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics at Northwest Nazarene University.
The F.I.R.E. Up for Summer program, now in its eighth year, is for high school students who want to earn transferable Northwest Nazarene University college credits by collecting data and completing research projects about wildfire. F.I.R.E. Up for Summer research projects help students learn about wildland fire behavior, its effect on natural ecosystems and what can be done to minimize rural communities’ susceptibility to wildfire. The program also encourages students to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.
|Last updated: 06-17-2011|
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