As the Firewise concept gains acceptance throughout the country, more and more folks want to share their experiences and tell about their successes. The program’s quarterly How To Newsletter features these stories and we are always looking for more. I was delighted to receive a story – with photos and news clippings - from Bill Troost of Lakeshore Park at Bass Lake, a small subdivision just 11 miles from Yosemite National Park in central California that recently earned Firewise Communities/USA recognition.
Local paper Sierra Star covered the success of this small community in initiating a grassroots project to reduce wildfire fuels and protect homes. Reporter Brian Wilkinson noted that the project is the fruition of five years of work within the community, and a collaborative effort with federal and state agencies who manage surrounding lands. According to Bill Troost, “The area was overgrown and the families involved realized the possible fire danger this could cause. We were determined to do everything possible to protect our homes and property.”
Through consultations with agency staff, a local Fire Safe Council, the volunteer fire department, and the public utility company, as well as with assistance from a private forestry expert, community residents were able to develop and act on a plan to increase their safety from wildfire while protecting forest health and other values. While some community funds were used for professional tree removal, the majority of the work was conducted by residents representing four generations of Lakeshore Park dwellers. Congratulations to one of the latest communities to earn national Firewise recognition!