In May 2017, agencies, stakeholders, and community members met to discuss wildfire related issues in Kittitas County. The group quickly agreed that a coordinated effort to mitigate risks and prepare for the inevitable next fire would benefit the community. Fire adapted communities bring together the various stakeholders helping to change the culture from one of wildfire victims needing federal, state and local aid to survive a wildfire to communities living proactively with wildfire. In recognition of the importance of fire adapted communities, the Kittitas Fire Adapted Communities Coalition (K-FACC) was born. KFACC's mission statment is: A coordinated movement to increase community resiliency to wildfire by providing education, planning, and technical assistance for implementing activities with the people that live, work, and recreate in Kittitas County.
A fire adapted community is a community that is working to prepare for, respond to, and recover from wildfire. It incorporates people, buildings, businesses, infrastructure, cultural resources, and natural areas into the preparedness effort. Fire adapted communities use many tools and programs to better live with wildfire. The Firewise Communities USA program is one tool available to communities but is not the only tool. Programs such as Ready, Set, Go! as well as our local codes and ordinances, Community Wildfire Protection Plans, collaborative planning efforts, business resilience activities, local mutal aid agreements, fire department capacity, and more all help adapt a community to live with wildfire.The Hidden Valley/ Swauk area was chosen by the Washington State Fire Adapted Community Learning Network to become Kittitas County's first FAC. Read the blog written by Suzanne on local partnerships and fuels reductions