Part of being a Firewise Community is hosting a Firewise Day. Listening to the stories of many Firewise Communities, we have seen the intrinsic value of this “day” which often times will span into a week or more. The communities host educational workshops, promote success stories, collaborate with agency partners on project development and prioritization and just enjoy special time together. The value of community resiliency development and peer to peer mentoring over time through hosting these “days” helps all residents in these neighborhoods not only acknowledge their risk but adopt a change of lifestyle to a Firewise one. Enjoy the stories of two Firewise community days celebrated in Florida and Georgia and learn how they were helped by participating.
Lake Forest Estates -- Ramsey Mountain, in Hiawassee, GA
On Firewise Day, Lake Forest Estates – Ramsey Mountain held an exercise with emergency personnel and vehicles from the local fire department, Georgia Forestry Commission, and the Georgia State Sheriff’s Office. The group assisted residents with cleanup and chipping in Lake Forest Estates. The Firewise group also helps to mentor new communities in the area. They have formed a Firewise Coalition board representing 5 subdivisions. The Coalition meets monthly. Each community writes their own grant, works with the State Forester to inspect houses, and makes recommendations to the homeowners for wildfire mitigation and defensible space.
Lake Forest Estates says, “We love Firewise! Firewise has been very helpful. It has helped us to connect as a community and we have learned a lot.”
Fiddler’s Green in Lake County, FL
Because of the sparse number of homeowners in residence later in the year, Fiddler’s Green held their Firewise Day in January. A public meeting was held and the group discussed their goals and objectives for the year. The primary goal is to comply with Firewise’s advice to establish an emergency egress for the community while also maintaining community defensible space. The group feels that they will need cooperation from the county and the conservancy to accomplish their goals.
Fiddler’s Green says, “We have benefitted from our involvement with Firewise. It has helped with the egress. Firewise support has helped us feel safer on our planet.”
Map from Wikipedia