Laura Dyberg admits she was once one of those laisse-faire types who did little to protect her home from wildfires. She assumed fire crews would always be able to take care of her home, in the high and rugged San Bernardino Mountains where she’d lived for 15 years.

But then she experienced her first large wildfire, the 1997 Mill Fire.

She’ll never forget how it destroyed 12 homes.

In the aftermath, her community blamed authorities for the losses — until they made the proactive move of creating a Fire Safe Council.

She says the biggest difference the council has made for the community has been to broaden their understanding of the role of the community and the role of fire departments in fire prevention and resiliency.