Tri-County Firesafe Working Group’s (TCFSWG) mission is to engage property owners on how to co-exist with and survive wildfire. Our programs and activities are designed to help property owners reduce their fire risks and to live more safely in a wildfire environment. These programs include outreach & education, private property wildfire risk assessments, and risk reduction activities targeting hazardous fuels removal and defensible space improvements on private lands and structures that are at risk to the impacts of wildfire. The organization consists of a broad spectrum of stakeholders including federal and state land managers and wildfire officials, county, and city government as well as private citizens and contractors.
Following the North Hill Fire of 1984, (just north of Helena, MT) the concept of the Tri-County FireSafe Working Group was initiated with the primary mission of fire prevention education in the community. With the purposes to preserve and enhance the areas natural and manmade resources, we use a collaborative effort by mobilizing both public and private sectors to make homes, businesses, properties, neighborhoods, communities and the landscape more fire safe. We address issues such as wildfire prevention, hazard mitigation, structure and infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness and response and evacuation planning in the Tri-County area. In 2000 the organization expanded its role into fuel reduction mitigation projects.
TCFSWG, working with private and government partners, has managed over 1,500 mitigation projects with more than 6,000 acres being treated for fuel reduction in the Wildland Urban Interface. In addition, more than 20 miles of roadway mitigation projects have been completed. TCFSWG has performed project management and contractor coordination on all these projects and has worked with the various government agencies in managing the grants that made the work possible. TCFSWG currently has grants or agreements with Lewis and Clark County, United States Forest Service, Montana State Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Management, and the International Fire Chiefs Association (Ready-Set-Go Program). In addition, TCFSWG is responsible for preparing and updating the Regional Community Wildfire Protection Plan.