The Almeda Fire was a traumatic event that destroyed lives, homes, and businesses and left our community shaken. One lesson learned is, in order to build and maintain a resilient fire adapted community, we need to add capacity to the wildfire risk assessment work performed by our local firefighters. We need your help and to that end are announcing the creation of an all-volunteer “Wildfire Risk Assessor” program.
The Ashland Volunteer Wildfire Risk Assessor (WRA) performs wildfire risk assessments within Ashland City limits to advise property owners and residents on the wildfire risks associated with their property and how to reduce those risks. The ideal candidate is passionate about helping Ashland become a fire adapted community and a “people person”--a good listener, thoughtful, and open to diverse perspectives.
We are recruiting an initial 20 volunteers who can commit to the training requirements, and perform ~100 property risk assessments a year. No background or experience is required. WRA candidates will be trained on-line (during Covid) through a combination of self-paced and zoom instructed classes followed up with mentored field assignments. The training for WRAP volunteers was adopted and motified from Oregon State University Extension Service's Citizen Fire Academy
If you want to get actively involved in reducing our community wildfire risk, this is the opportunity for you! Your next step is to review the Wildfire Risk Assessor expectations description below, then complete and sign up to apply by clicking the link at the bottom of this page. If you know someone who would be interested in the WRA program, please pass this on to them.
We can reduce the wildfire risk in Ashland and you can play a vital role in that effort!
Expectations for the Ashland Volunteer Wildfire Risk Assessor
The Ashland Volunteer Wildfire Risk Assessor (WRA) performs wildfire risk assessments within Ashland City Limits to advise property owners and occupants on wildfire risks associated with their property. The WRA is expected to develop a relationship on-site with property owners/occupants to educate, empower, guide, and support them to independently reduce wildfire risks on their property and encourage their neighbors to do likewise.
Approximately 140-170 hours spread throughout the year, plus initial and annual training
Successful completion of the Ashland Volunteer WRA Course (~48 hrs)
Eight (8) hours of annual WRA training refresher
Required Field Training (Mentoring)
Completion of the WRA task book to demonstrate competency in performing risk assessments.
Physical Fitness Level
The WRA must be physically able to walk uphill, downhill, and on uneven terrain. Adjustments to the physical requirements may be considered to ensure the volunteer will be successful.
Background check performed by the City of Ashland before training begins.
Has a means of reliable transportation to and from assigned risk assessment locations.
Has reliable internet access and a digital device to enter data.
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (after completion of training)
Competent in performing wildfire risk assessments on a broad array of site conditions.
Solicits information and listens to property owners’/residents’ concerns before advising them on risks. Confirms that their concerns are addressed.
Provides subject matter expertise in home ignition zone risks, home hardening principles, fuels reduction, creation of defensible space, and relevant codes and ordinances.
Advises and strives to motivate property owners/residents before, during and after the assessment using appropriate communication techniques and interpersonal skills.
Documents findings using customized software and forms within prescribed timeframes.
Performs follow-up inspections confirming completion of work and condition status.
Monitors and documents risk reduction accomplishments on assigned properties.
Advocates for risk reduction in a manner that addresses specific vulnerabilities.
Follows established protocols & seeks out expert assistance for complex/unusual situations.
Provides information in a manner that balances individual judgment with realistic opportunities to address barriers to action.
Seeks out and clarifies work expectations with supervisor and teammate(s).
Practices situational awareness and follows established safe work practices.
Develops an effective personal relationship with every property owner/renter. Serves as the property owner’s/renter’s point of contact and advocate.
Click here to sign up for the Volunteer Wildfire Risk Assessment Program