Two Florida Firewise Communities engaged their local Fire Service to create a Firewise Day to remember. Wedgefield focused on creating a fun-filled family day to engage residents of all age groups. They listed five partner agencies that helped collaborate with them to create a successful day. Cypress Dunes used the day to focus on Firewise landscaping and hands-on experience using a hose to put out small “garden” fires. Read their stories and learn what steps you can take to make your community more resilient in the event of a wildfire.
Wedgefield at Orange County, Florida
On their Firewise Day, Wedgefield held an open house at the local fire station and held a large public meeting. The community event featured displays by local agency partners, vendors, food and cake sales, and activities for children. Speakers on landscaping, wildfire, and wildfire mitigation were provided by Florida Forest Service, Orange County Extension Service, University of Florida, and the Orange County Fire and Rescue Department. Orange County Fire and Rescue Department Station 86 in Wedgefield held an open house for adults and children. Firefighters gave tours of the station and explained the equipment and vehicles they use. Free photos of the children were taken with Santa. Firewise information was passed out to the adults.
Wedgefield tells us, “We have gone to other communities encouraging them to become part of the Firewise program. We love Firewise!”
Cypress Dunes at Walton County, Florida
Cypress Dunes held a public meeting on Firewise Day. The local mitigation specialist spoke to the group about the importance of fire-friendly landscaping, and how to use a water hose to put out a small fire. The residents agreed to keep hoses on the right side of their homes, accessible to anyone in the event of a fire.
Cypress Dunes tells us, “Firewise Day has become an education day that is very helpful to us. This year we learned how to make better plant choices for landscaping around our homes.”
Map of Walton County Florida from Wikipedia