January 29, 2015

Case Study: Benton County Uses Pictometry® Imagery to Achieve Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition

Benton County

Benton County When the GIS department of Benton County, Arkansas, made the decision to purchase Pictometry Intelligent Images®, fighting wildfires was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. For the first few years, the county’s focus was strictly on traditional GIS applications such as parcel lines, addressing, mapping hydrants, etc. Soon the images and analytical tools were adopted by the 9-1-1 and sheriff departments, as well as by several cities in the county.

Across the county, savings in time, money and labor were being appreciated thanks to the advantages of Pictometry’s oblique imagery. Just when they thought they had maximized the software’s application, a new opportunity made itself known: the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program.

Designed to encourage local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for reducing the risk of damage to their homes from wildfires, counties achieving a Firewise designation are eligible to receive federal grant monies for wildfire safety or fuel mitigation.

Recognizing the opportunity and the County’s risk of wildfires, County Ranger George Stowe-Rains with the Arkansas Forestry Commission of Benton County decided to pursue the Firewise Program. For Stowe-Rains and his colleagues, the biggest challenge was simply getting started.

In order to secure Firewise recognition, a community must first conduct a comprehensive assessment of its wildfire risk. To do this, Stowe-Rains and his team began conducting visual assessments of the properties and structures in the county.

Learn how Pictometry imagery helped Benton County achieve its objectives with the Firewise Program.

Read the Case Study

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