Summer Fire Prevention Safety Tips
A Message from Jewish National Fund
Every summer, Americans see the damage from wildfires in woodlands, fields, forests and national parks. Usually these wildfires come in the summer, after prolonged periods of drought, and last until the fall, when the potential for fire increases dramatically.
Jewish National Fund (JNF) has gained an international reputation for its work with trees and forests during the past century. JNF foresters, who come to the U.S. each summer to take courses from the U.S. Forest Service, are responsible for fire prevention and safety in Israel's forests.
JNF foresters have contributed invaluable know-how and advice to U. S. foresters, particularly in managing fires in the pine and scrub oak forests of the American Southwest. For example, in Israel, controlled grazing in JNF forests limits the amount of brush and fuel available for fire. Learning from JNF’s experience, the U.S. Forest Service has worked with environmental groups during the past few years to properly thin forests.
When wildfires raged last summer, “thinned areas survived as viable forest habitats, while unthinned areas looked like scorched moonscapes,” said Chris Risbrudt, director of Forest Products Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service has identified four factors contribute to the extent and intensity of forest fires: abundance of fuel, weather, lack of moisture and terrain.
"We take Israel's depth of experience and apply it to our situation," said Tom Hoekstra, Director of Inventory and Monitoring Institute of the U.S. Forest Service. "Their experience in handling forest fire situations in arid environments has been of tremendous benefit."
The devastating effects of the fire season are felt by the thousands of lost homes and the millions of acres of forests that were burned. In addition to destroying the forest itself, wildfires often spread to surrounding communities, ravaging private homes, businesses and property. In addition, the fires devastated wildlife habitats and ecosystems and degraded vital watersheds.
"With the expansion of urban areas into forested land combined with environmental changes, we will continue to see larger fires that cause more damage and threaten more lives," said Dale Bosworth, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. "The world-class professionalism and determination of JNF foresters is second to none.”
JNF foresters advise residents to follow the fire prevention safety tips to keep themselves and their homes safe and avoid the risk of wildfires in woodlands, fields and parks. Be aware that periods of unusually low precipitation increase the likelihood of severe wildfires. If your region is experiencing a dry season, especially with high winds, exercise extra caution when in contact with any flammable materials.
Prepared by Sarina Roffé
Jewish National Fund Fire Prevention Tips
Jewish National Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1901 to serve as caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners—Jewish people everywhere. During the first half of the 20th century, JNF set out to achieve its goal by purchasing the land that would become the State of Israel. Following the successful establishment of the state in 1948, the organization has evolved to meet Israel's most pressing needs, including the current security crisis, ongoing water shortage and other environmental challenges. Over the past century, the organization has planted over 240 million trees, built over 150 reservoirs and dams, developed over 250,000 acres of land, created more than 450 parks and educated students around the world about Israel and the environment. For more information on JNF or to plant trees in Israel, call 1-800-542-TREE (8733) or visit www.jnf.org. To contact your local office, please call 888-JNF-0099 or visit www.jnf.org.