Learning to Live with Fire: How Camps Can Adapt to the New Normal

In August of 2018, the Donnell Fire started in Tuolumne County, California — eventually destroying some 60 square miles of forests before burning out on October 1 of that year. It was a stressful time for many in the region. This included Jason Poisson, executive director of Camp Jack Hazard. Poisson and his team were hosting a family-style camp when the fire began eight or nine miles away. They spent several days observing the smoke from afar, which did not appear to be a serious threat to the camp itself. Then on August 3, Poisson recalls, the weather changed:

How to Prepare Your Camp for the Wildfire Season

The last few wildfire seasons have been more destructive than years' past. These tips can help you keep your summer camp safe during wildfire season.

Wildfires in the West

The threat of wildfires impacts camps in the west more each year.  This webinar explores wildland fire preparation, response and recovery from four critical perspectives: Public Policy, Fire Service, Insurance and Camp Experience.   Our panel of experts will answer your questions and provide insight and practical information for camps to proactively manage the risks associated with wildfire.  We will also dedicate time for participants to share their own knowledge and learn from each other in a virtual meet up discussion at the end of the event.  This program is designed with western region

Wildfires - Preparing Camps and Programs that Operate in Wilderness Areas

Wildfire season seems to last 12 months a year now. Preparing for wildfires through fuel mitigation is a great start, but preparation requires much more: connecting with local emergency services, updating information with insurance providers, going over emergency plans and practicing drills and many more critical considerations.  The American Camp Association provides resources for developing wildfire preparation, response and recovery plans.


Since moving to Montana from Pennsylvania several years ago, I’ve become much more attuned to the threat of wildfires, and have begun to learn more about what can be done to safeguard the people inside structures and limit damage at the same time. Our home is now at the very edge of the service area for a fine volunteer fire department, but there are surely limits to how quickly they can respond. Just last October, fire took our neighbors’ home, and it reminded us that living on the prairie has hazards and risks along with the wonders it brings.

Summer Camps, Fire, and Emergency Communications: Six Lessons Learned During a Fire at Camp

Fires are a potential hazard for camps located in wooded areas and urban areas alike. How camps respond and communicate to camp families and the community when a fire does occur can go a long way to alleviating any safety fears or panic, especially if a fire occurs while camp is in session.

Forest Fire: A Crisis Reality for Camp

During the summer of 2000, two camps located in the western United States faced the challenging crisis of forest fire. Don Brown and Rhonda Mickelson share their experiences.

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Wildfire Evacuations

The safety of your campers and staff and anyone who may be on your property are your primary responsibility. Review your risk management plan for camp evacuation and coordinate with appropriate local authorities. Many of the suggestions below may already be in your risk management plan. Some may or may not apply to your particular situation.