A tip of the blogger hat to Kevin W. Zobrist, the Washington State University Regional Extension Specialist for Forest Stewardship. Kevin, also known by his Twitter handle as @WSUExtForestry, has penned an excellent article on the WSU Extension's Forest Stewardship Notes blog about how Firewise principles can be used statewide, and not just in the areas some might expect.
You can read Kevin's post, "Firewise: It's not just an Eastside Issue," here. He focuses on the opportunities that "westsiders" - Washingtonians living in the cooler, wetter, but not fire-free areas of the state - have with regard to wildfire mitigation.
Let me share some of the key comments (at least, my favorites) that Kevin makes:
- There is no reason to respond to fire risk with fear or to take drastic (and unwarranted) measures such as clear-cutting all the trees or denuding the understory of the forests around us. Instead, do so some careful, educated, and well-thought-out long-term planning and management around fire.
- Becoming fire-wise is a long-term management process that takes years of small steps (taking advantage of cool, wet conditions).
- The impact of a Firewise landscape is extraordinary. A wild, voracious, and seemingly unstoppable fire will literally bow down to a Firewise landscape, creeping along the ground in submission to years of careful planning and good forest management.
Photo credit: Washington Department of Natural Resources. This house was spared from the Naneum Canyon wildfire in 2010, thanks in part to the homeowner’s use of Firewise landscaping to protect the structure.