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Wildfire Risk

Maine Forest Service to conduct “Wildfire Risk Assessments” in Surry

The Maine Forest Service’s Forest Protection Division has developed a program to help communities reduce the risk of wildfire near their homes. Throughout Maine, an average of 550 wildfires are reported annually. Out of those fires, nearly 3/4’s threatens, damage or destroy structures. Maine is the most forested state in the country, and so also has one of the highest percentages of homes in the wildland urban interface (WUI), where there is risk of a wildfire spreading to a home. To get started with the program, a random sample of homes (approximately 75 - 100) will be assessed in parts of Surry on Thursday June 22nd, 2023.

These assessments are free and only for homes within the area known as the wildland urban interface (where the homes intermix with forested areas). They are designed to be completed without invading the privacy of the homeowner. The Forest Ranger doing the assessment completes a form with 27 questions ranging from the width of access roads and size of street signs / address numbers to types of shingles / siding materials and the distance of the “defensible space” (an area with minimal vegetation between the house and a forested area). The assessment forms do not list the name or specific address of the homeowner. Instead, a global positioning satellite (GPS) point is used. That way, the location of all the individual assessments can be viewed on a GIS map to show that most of the community has been sampled. The information gathered from the assessments and from discussions with the Fire Chief could be used to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This “fire plan” could be done by a contractor and prioritize areas of fire concern and offer suggestions for mitigating forest fuel build up. For more information about wildfire risk, see

There is no cost or obligation to participate in this program. If you do not wish to have your home and property assessed for the risk of wildfire, please complete this form, or contact Surry Fire Chief Bryan McLellan at or 207-481-1037, and he will provide a list for the Forest Rangers conducting the assessments.  Once the wildfire risk assessments are completed, the data can be used for federally funded firebreaks and fuel reduction projects. For more information on the program, please contact Forest Ranger Specialist Kent Nelson at

Frequently Asked Questions

When is this happening?
During the day on Thursday June 22nd, 2023.

Do I need to be home that day?

No. While if selected we would be on your property, the assessments are designed to be completed without invading the privacy of the homeowner.

Will this impact my insurance?
For privacy, we only store the GPS coordinates of the location, no names or addresses are collected as part of the assessment. 

How do I exclude my property?
Please complete this form and your property will be not be selected.

How do I request my house be assessed for wildfire risk?
Due to limited resources and the need for a random sampling for data purposes, we can't accept requests for specific properties at this time.