It began with just a handful of agencies including CalFire, Napa County and the Napa City Fire Department helping residents with defensible space and chipping, but according to Stephen Gort who presented "The Napa Communities Firewise Foundation: Using the Firewise Model," what started small turned into something bigger. At this Friday afternoon session at the Backyards & Beyond conference here in Salt Lake City, Mr. Gort explained to an engaged audience how a number of Napa (California) communities have rallied together and set their sites on becoming a Firewise County.
And yes, if/when they do succeed, Napa might just be the very first Firewise County of the program! Developing a Firewise Board of Directors, creating a business model, applying for grants/funding and writing a comprehensive CWPP have been just a few of the important steps these communities have taken to continue their journey towards creating safer neighborhoods. But probably the biggest key to success, says Mr. Gort, is asking for help.You don't know what resources await until you try!
While they are still working on their ultimate goal of creating a Firewise County, Mr. Gort says that the communities that make up Napa County are well on their way to achieving success through proper planning, hard work and collaboration. I'm sure he'll keep the staff at NFPA headquarters updated on his progress! And we look forward to hearing from him!