Many Firewise communities are actively working towards creating safer neighborhoods in multiple ways on multiple days throughout the year. Their Firewise Day transcends into days of education, fun and work projects throughout the year. NFPA’s Firewise© program can provide guidance and support to these communities as they reach towards creating safer communities to live, work and play in. Read the story of these two Firewise Communities to learn how you can become the spark for lasting change in yours.
Chaparral Pines at Payson, Arizona
Chaparral Pines held three Firewise events in 2014. There were two “dumpster days”, one in the Spring, and one in the Fall. In advance of these days, residents were encouraged to do mitigation work on their properties, reducing woody debris and potential fuels, and the HOA picked up all the slash free of charge, and recycled it into useable mulch for maintaining the hiking rails and landscaped areas. The effort produced over 150 tons of removed ladder fuels. In November, the community held an Emergency Evacuation Meeting with the Payson Police Chief, the Fire Chief, the Sheriff’s Department, and the neighborhood’s security team. They also showed the film, “1/3 Mile From Safety, A Family’s Story.
Chaparral Pines shared this with us, “We will be following last year’s successful agenda with the biannual “dumpster days” where we encourage our community residents to firewise their property with a free pick up of their trimming to recycle them into useable mulch. A Living with Wildfires and Homeowners Firewise Guide for Arizona presentation is scheduled of October, along with our Community Evacuation Plan. A Firewise educational trailer will be prominently displayed at the meeting entrance, which contains a variety of free brochures for visitors to take home for reference.”
Banning Creek Canyon at Bisbee, Arizona
Banning Creek Canyon held several Firewise events during 2014. On Firewise Day, members of the Banning Creek Firewise group manned a Firewise Education Booth at the Bisbee Farmers’ Market. They passed out literature and talked to neighbors about how to reduce fuels around their homes. The group also held four educational meetings and several community clean-up days scattered throughout the year, including fuels reduction work performed by the Douglas Department of Corrections Wildfire Crew. The Banning Creek Canyon Firewise group volunteers to clean up a mile of highway in the canyon.
Banning Creek Canyon shared with us, “The Firewise program has not only educated me in the safety of my home and property, but has put me in contact with the Arizona State Lands Department, which has assessed properties and helped to clear fuels for ten years. The program has also brought together neighbors who live miles from each other, giving us common goals, and a willingness to help one another in keeping our properties defensible.”