Editor’s note: The Fire Adapted Montana Learning Network (FAMLN) is a long time member of the national Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net), and is also connected to the Blackfoot Valley Fire Learning Network. FAMLN centers the needs of the communities they serve in the development resources and materials. In this blog, we feature a series of recently published resources from FAMLN, some of which were created with support from FAC Net.

Firescaping Checklist

Take this checklist with you when you go to your home improvement store, local nursery, or when consulting a professional landscaper. Use this list to ensure your yard and garden are within recommended standards, and are as fire safe as possible.

Fire Smart Landscaping in the Montana Wildland Urban Interface

Firescaping is the practice of landscaping and gardening around your home with wildfire mitigation at the core of your design. Firescaping combines extensive, in-depth research on wildland fires and Home Ignition Zones (HIZ) guidelines with landscaping and gardening techniques, resulting in a safer and visually appealing yard surrounding your home. This six-page handout is a comprehensive guide to different landscaping materials, as well as areas of the HIZ, and how to maximize your time and resources to make your area as fire smart as possible.

Farm and Ranch Wildfire Preparedness Guide for Small Startup Operations

Montana’s agricultural community faces unique challenges when it comes to wildfire. During the fire season, Montana farmers and ranchers not only have to protect their operation’s assets, but their homes and the personal infrastructure required to run their business. This guide is intended to help you prepare your operation for fire and know what to do if it is time to evacuate. To use this guide, read through the information provided and create suggested preparedness checklists.

Wildfires can be unpredictable and move fast. Being prepared before the flame front approaches can reduce the impacts of fire on your land and your livelihood. Wildfire preparedness will look different for everyone. Each farm and ranch will have different priorities based on values assigned by the owner. Keep these priorities in mind while working through this guide.

Montana Farm and Ranch Wildfire Insurance Preparedness

In the United States, 75% of the area burned by wildfires occurs on non-forested lands, oftentimes burning across farm and rangeland. The impacts these wildfires pose for farmers and ranchers can be devastating and often felt for years following the fire. One of the best ways that farmers and ranchers can prepare for a wildfire is with proper insurance coverage. 

Farming and ranching are complex occupations that rarely provide a day off. Taking the time to read through and understand your insurance policy’s coverage can seem arduous, but keeping your policy up to date is critical to be protected from disasters, ensure you are not overpaying, and are not underinsured. Your policy is how you get paid following a disaster and trying to read through the fine print afterwards is not when you want to be figuring out the details.

Private farm and ranch insurance comes in many forms. This guide is not intended to cover them all, but rather to help you understand what insurance options are available to protect your operation against the threat of wildfire, and to help find a policy that is right for you. 

Wildfire Preparedness Guide for Short-Term Rentals

Renting out your home or a second property through online services such as Airbnb and VRBO is often a great source of income for homeowners. It does, however, create some unique risks when it comes to wildfire. Since you may not be around (or may have extra guests around) when a wildfire arrives, short-term rental owners must be extra prepared for the inevitably of wildfire. In doing so, you can help protect your most valuable assets while reducing wildfire risk to your neighbors and emergency responders. Additionally, preparing your renters for wildfire provides them with the knowledge and resources necessary to safely visit and recreate in Montana during wildfire season. There are many ways to get your rental property ready for wildfire, from home hardening to educating your guests. This guide is intended to help you prepare your property and your guests for wildfire. 


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