As we plan to have a “Year of Living Less Dangerously from Wildfire”, we would like to recognize three Firewise communities that have already completed work to renew their Firewise recognition status for 2015. Some of the projects completed include planning project work, that will be completed later this year and reviewing and updating plans for future community efforts. It is important to develop a good plan utilizing the Firewise Communities assessment template as a guide. You can work collaboratively with your local authorities having jurisdiction, such as fire departments, to get their expert opinions about what areas the community can work on as a whole in order to improve their resiliency in the event of a wildfire. Just as an architect needs a good plan to build, communities need good fire mitigation plans to make changes that will make the biggest difference.
The first community, Rattlesnake Ridge in Nevada County, California, completed a walk-about with contractors and local authorities having jurisdiction to determine the scope of work on a fuels project that they will be working on. After obtaining their board’s approval, they will hire AmeriCorps workers to help remove Scotch Broom, a flammable noxious nonnative plant, from their private property and some neighboring property.
The Long Bay Club in Horry, South Carolina, completed a review of the Firewise Process, 2014 results, and 2015 objectives at its Annual Property Owners Association Meeting.
And finally, the La Casa Mobile Home Park in Sarasota, Florida, held an informational meeting for park residents, with the involvement of the Florida Division of Forestry, Sarasota County Fire Department, North Port Fire Department and the La Casa Firewise Committee Topics discussed were controlled burns and their value, as well as the use of fire resistant plants in landscaping around houses.
There have been many good projects and informational planning sessions hosted by many of our incredible Firewise communities. If you are interested in learning what your community can do to plan adequately and implement effective changes check out the Firewise website and attend our Backyards & Beyond Conference for the opportunity to network with community members and learn from researchers and wildfire experts from around the United States. Registration will be open in a few weeks.