Korea to host the sixth International Wildland Fire Conference (IWFC)

Korea to host the sixth International Wildland Fire Conference (IWFC)

07 October 2015

published by www.whowired.com

Republic of Korea– Firefighters and forest fire experts from around the world will gather in Korea to discuss effective measures to respond to wildfires and how to boost international cooperation on forest fires. The sixth International Wildland Fire Conference (IWFC) will be held under the theme of “Fire of the Past, Fire in Future” from Oct. 12 to 16 at the Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang-gun County, Gangwon-do Province.

About 3,000 forest fire experts from 80 countries will attend the upcoming conference, the first time it is ever held in Asia. Attendees include representatives from international organizations, such as Margareta Wahlström, a special representative for the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction at the U.N.

During the conference, Korea will share with the world its technology and know-how in responding to forest fires. A wildfire firefighting demonstration will be jointly held on Oct. 14 by the Korea Forest Service, the Forest Aviation Headquarters, the Ministry of National Defense, the Korean National Police Agency, the Ministry of Public Safety & Security and Pyeongchang County. The demonstration will include extinguishing a wildfire and lifesaving training, as well as putting out a fire from the air using helicopters deep in the woods. Based on its accumulated experience, Korea will share its home-built Mountain Fire Pumping Suppression System using special machinery. The demonstration will make use of special vehicles to fight wildfires that were designed to help to put out fires deep in the forests and mountains rapidly and safely. Such forest fire firefighting technologies and techniques are expected to be helpful to countries that have similar geography to the Korean Peninsula.

Minister Shin Won-Sop, head of the Korea Forest Service, said, “Representatives from 80 governments and international organizations, experts and scholars will visit Korea for the upcoming conference, the first-ever to be held in Asia. We will do our best to ensure the conference is a success.”USAA members now can save money on their homeowners insurance premiums by living within the boundaries of a recognized Firewise Communities/USA® program. Currently, the discounts are available to eligible members in California, Colorado and Texas, three states prone to wildfire activity.

“Wildfire season is well underway, and we want to educate the public and our members on ways to prepare for a wildfire,” says Jim Salek, vice president of underwriting programs and loss prevention at USAA. “It is important that individual homeowners take action to reduce the risks of wildfires. However, this is a team effort, and an entire community can benefit when it gets behind fire prevention efforts. We hope the Firewise discount gives communities the incentive to take action.”

USAA was the first major national insurance provider to offer such discounts to members living in Firewise Communities and has teamed up with Firewise to determine if a home is located in a recognized community. The discount is then automatically applied to USAA members who live in that community*. The Firewise website has a list of the recognized communities and information on how to take action to get communities started on the recognition process.

While the program is currently limited, USAA intends to pursue this discount for its members living in other states with significant wildfire risks. As of June 30, the discount is automatically applied only to new homeowners policies and rental property insurance policies, for those who own and rent out property, issued or renewed in California, Colorado and Texas.

USAA also has expanded its direct efforts to help members threatened by an active wildfire. In 14 wildfire-prone states, USAA offers all eligible members enrollment in the Wildfire Response Program. The program, conducted with Wildfire Defense Systems, an association of professional wild land firefighters, attempts to help eligible members protect their homes in the event of an active wildfire. WDS monitors wildfire activity and, working with the onsite incident commander, takes proactive measures, when feasible, to help protect a member’s home, such as closing windows and doors, clearing debris and moving other flammable materials away from the home.

USAA offers other wildfire-related products and services to its members, including:

  • A property risk assessment tool on usaa.com, which allows members to input their address to see if their home is at risk for wildfire or storm surge and tells them how they can reduce the risk of damage.
  • WDSPro App, a free app that gives tips and advice on how to reduce wildfire risk and helps homeowners complete a property wildfire assessment in less than 20 minutes. On-screen directions cue users to take photos around the outside of their home to capture key information about their property and surroundings. The information and photos are submitted to a professional fire risk analyst for recommendations on how to better protect the home against wildfires.

– See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/10/06/773846/10151808/en/USAA-Offers-Insurance-Discounts-for-Living-in-Firewise-Communities.html#sthash.L60dHW41.dpuf

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