The development of the Jackson County Integrated Fire Plan (JaCIFP) began in January of 2005, building on an active foundation of wildfire protection work in Jackson County. Although past efforts have been successful, the county recognized an overwhelming need for increased coordination among wildfire management agencies and a need for a greater understanding of and responsibility for wildfire safety among residents of Jackson County. Since the creation of the National Fire Plan in 2000 and passage of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act in 2003, communities have an increased opportunity to participate in federal agency wildfire fuels management planning, to receive funding for fuels management on private lands, and to be active participants in reducing wildfire risk throughout the county.
The increasing impact of wildfires on forests and the loss of life and property to wildfires each year in this country is a cause of concern to Jackson County commissioners. Recent catastrophic disasters in the United States, such as Hurricane Katrina, are exposing unprepared governments and citizens. With lessons learned from these disasters, the Jackson County Integrated Fire Plan creates opportunities for citizens and agencies to increase preparedness for wildfire and other emergencies. The Jackson County Integrated Fire Plan Mission Statement reflects the need for increased preparedness and coordination:
“Reduce the risk of wildfire to life, property and natural resources in Jackson County by coordinating public agencies, community organizations, private landowners, and the public to increase their awareness of and responsibility for fire issues.“
-JaCIFP Mission Statement