Blue Mountain Firewise Community, according to their website was created in the late 1950's as a vacation community for Washington residents."The area is known for its scenic overlooks and seasonal wildflowers as well as peaceful mountain living." The area is a little more than 63 miles due west of Washington DC off Highway 66. They know their risk of loss from wildfire and have taken steps together to lessen it.
Blue Mountain at Linden, VA
Blue Mountain’s Firewise Day featured a talk on the local wildfire risk and a discussion of the need to remove debris to reduce that risk. A large amount of deadfall from winter storms was piled up by the residents. This amount was at least twice the amount of previous years. The group noted that the fuel load reduction was the largest in ten years. Residents were congratulated on their efforts. The group was then updated on work being done to keep the dam on Deer Lake clear to meet Virginia dam safety requirements. Blue Mountain Sanitary District taxes paid to keep 15 miles of rural roads open for emergency access.
Blue Mountain shared with us, “What the Firewise program has done for our community over the past eight years is to raise awareness of a forest fire here among many of our 380+ property owners. We did that by telling them the truth, the issue is not whether they will ever have a forest fire here that will significantly endanger their homes and property, it is a matter of when a forest fire will significantly endanger their homes and property, and why.”