Firewise a grass roots neighborhood program, engages residents in activities throughout the community to make changes to their homes and properties enabling them to become more resilient. Hosting a Firewise Day is part of the community recognition process. Firewise Days that are meaningful, and have an impact on the community are those that encourage fellow residents to actively participate in communitywide projects. Some Firewise Communities host project open houses,that enable residents to better understand the progress and impact of their project work. This also provides an opportunity for the community to share with agency partners about the project work completed and planned. Sharing information like this in an informal setting helps to promote the work that the community is doing and enhance communication between interested parties to continue making progress. Read about the story of one Firewise Community and learn how you can host a successful Firewise Day.
Quemado Lakes Estates, New Mexico
The Quemado Lakes Estates Firewise group held a “Tour the Canyons” event for Firewise Day. The tour showed residents the progress of the Quemado Lake Estates Forest Restoration Project, which was carried out by New Mexico Forestry Division and Catron County in and around the community, to mitigate fire danger and chimney effects of wildland fires in the nearby forest area. The project is thinning the forest by removing invasive Pinon/Juniper seedlings, saplings, and small trees.
The event was well attended by 26 community residents, plus 3 members of Catron County staff, and 3 NM Forestry Division representatives. The meeting was very informative, and residents saw a big difference between proper thinning procedures and not thinning at all, as demonstrated by two of the lots affected by the project.
Quemado Lakes Estates tells us, “Our Firewise event had a positive impact on our community by giving our residents factual information about the process of thinning, and the various techniques used by the NM Forestry to mitigate the overgrown canyon forest, reduce the amount of hazardous fuels, and reduce the impact of wildland fire destruction. These same techniques are useful to property.
The before and after is of a Pondersosa Pine thinning project submitted to NFPA's Firewise Communities Program® by the community.