On Friday, October 26, Pasadena Glen, one of the oldest homeowner associations in California, completed their Firewise Assessment. Residents of the community recognize the historic significance of their community and are working hard to make Firewise improvements to protect their community from another wildfire event.
Pasadena Glen is one of the beauty spots of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is in a steep and shaded canyon just north of Eaton Canyon Golf Course at the edge of the Angeles National Forest in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. A seasonal stream meanders through the community. Famed naturalist John Burroughs spent several winters there.
The community was severely affected by the 1993 Altadena Fire. Twenty eight homes were lost. Twenty new homes have been built that meet good Firewise building standards. The other thirty five homes in the community are original homes that were built in the early 1920s. Many of these homes have been updated with dual pane windows, fire resistive roofs and vents.
Pasadena Glen is located in a gorge at the base of three canyons. During wind events the velocity of the winds are intensified in the steep canyons. We completed the assessment on a day that wasa red flag warning day for all of Southern California. We paid close attention to hazards in the community that could be modified, such as leaves on the roof, as well as modifications made to homes such as boxed eaves, dual paned windows, fire resistive building materials and good Firewise landscaping choices that they had already made.
Residents of Pasadena Glen and their local authority having jurisdiction, the Los Angeles County Fire Authority, are working hard together to make their community much safer during a wildfire event. Your community can also become a nationally recognized Firewise Community by taking some steps in the right direction. Remember it is not a matter of IF a wildfire event will occur but WHEN.
How can you be a part of a nationally recognized Firewise Community? Here are six simple steps:
- Form a Firewise Board
- Complete an assessment with someone who has completed NFPA's Home Ignition Zone Course, collaboratively with your local fire jurisdiction.
- Present the assessment to the board for approval. The board will then create an action plan to lessen the risk of wildfire to their community.
- Host aFirewise Day! Have fun!
- Invest a value of $2.00 per resident on Firewise activities to make your community safer and educate residents about what they can do to make their homes safer! This can be accomplished through volunteer hours invested in your community!
- Finally, complete the online application with these documents as attachments and send the application to your state liaison or to the Firewise Communities National Office.
It is a straightforward and easy process to become a recognized community and help protect your home and the lives of those you care about! For more information about how your neighborhood can become a recognized Firewise Communities/USA site, visit the Firewise website at www.firewise.org.
Images: Topographic map of the Pasadena Glen area (top right); Mala Arthur, president, Pasadena Glen Firesafe Council and Firewise Board at the waterfall located in the northern area of the community (bottom right).