Many communities shared that the value of participating in the Firewise Communities Program is multifaceted. Not only are communities making their homes and communities more resilient over time as they continue to address safety modifications needed to be made to both the structure and the landscape surrounding the home, but they also grow together as a community learning about each other and developing lasting relationships. Read the stories of these two Firewise Communities to learn how residents in your area can become neighbors with a purpose.
Greater Gallina Canyon/Deer Mesa at Valdez, New Mexico
On Firewise Day the Greater Gallina Canyon Firewise Community members worked together to thin trees and perform roadside vegetation clean-up. Afterward, a potluck picnic was held, and fire prevention and preparedness information were shared.
Greater Gallina Canyon says, “Working elbow-to-elbow in the trenches (literally!), and hauling fuels on two Chipper Days, brought the community closer together. Probably for the first time, we acted more like neighbors and less like mere “residents” just occupying space in the same geographic wildland interface area.”
Courtyard at Austin, Texas
Courtyard held their Firewise Day event during the annual July 4th Parade and Picnic. The parade was led by an Austin Fire Dept. fire engine and firefighters. A booth was set up in the Park and manned by Fire Safety Committee members who answered questions and handed out information and promotional materials. Fire Safety Committee members talked with their neighbors about the importance of the home assessment program and plans to address fire safety in the common areas. A sign-up list was started for the assessments.
Courtyard says, “Several of the benefits of the July 4th Day include a sense of pride on the part of residents knowing neighbors were seeking to promote fire safety measures in the neighborhood. Also, there were folks who were willing to volunteer to get involved. The Firewise Day served as a great vehicle for neighbors to not only become informed, but to offer their time for future events.”