Sometimes it is the “human treasures” or project leftovers stored around the home that can create a hazard in the event of a wildfire. What do you do with all of those things that you just cannot get rid of because you just might use them some day? You do not want to store them against the home because they can become ember catchers during a wildfire event and act as kindling that helps to ignite your home. The best thing to do is store them inside of a building like a shed, barn or garage or like the community below sell them at a community-driven fundraiser that not only cleans up your yard but can be used to fund community-driven project work or support your local fire department. Read about Chiliwist in Washington state and see how this community has worked together to complete a project like this.
Chiliwist held a yard sale fundraiser combined with four hours of educational talks on fire prevention, preparation, and protecting one’s home through defensible space on Firewise Day. Agency partners, including Washington Department of Natural Resources, Okanogan Conservation District, US Department of Fish & Wildlife, the local fire chief, and firefighters talked about practical ways to use tools and be prepared for wildfire. The yard sale raised $650 with all proceeds going to the local fire department.
Chiliwist says, “The event was the key to getting people who were true skeptics involved by answering questions, addressing concerns, and educating them on wildfires and protecting their homes. And by protecting their homes, they were protecting their neighbors and the rest of the community. Just over 2 months later, the Chiliwist was hit by the worst fire in Washington state history. Over 30 homes plus outbuildings were lost, even some which were “firewise”. But many of the homes that survived were able to be protected because of Firewise principles.”
Image of a yard with lots of human treasures by Faith Berry The second image of Chiliwist community event submitted by the community