Wildfires worldwide are increasing in intensity and frequency while more residents move into the wildland urban interface. Fires such as the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs, Colorado emphasized this sad reality in June of 2012. Because of worsening conditions, many regions around the United States are exploring innovative policies to ensure residents are protected and the loss of structures is reduced. One such policy is the Prepare, Act, Survive approach developed by the Australians. Prepare, Act, Survive emphasizes mutual responsibility between residents and fire or land management authorities and encourages residents located in fire prone areas to prepare their property well before a blaze. Residents are then formally allowed to stay and defend their properties if they wish to do so or encouraged to leave well before the fire threatens them if they desire. This paper explores both the American Mandatory Evacuation policy and the Australian Prepare, Act, Survive approach. Finally, it predicts how many homes could have potentially been saved if residents had been allowed to stay and defend their property during the Waldo Canyon Fire.
Ms. Rona Wade, CEO of UNILINC based in Sydney, Australia, was appointed to the Advisory Board of Collaborative Librarianship. UNILINC, a robust consortium serving 22 libraries of several types across Australia, offers a number of services including cataloging, electronic content loading and presentation, interlibrary loan and document delivery, training and shared online catalogs. Its most recent initiatives focus on next generation integrated library systems. This interview is part of a series of conversations with members of Collaborative Librarianship’s Advisory Board.