We at NFPA are so pleased to hear stories from Firewise© Communities about their successes. Recently, Sky Valley Association, Inc. a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) located on Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland which has been a Firewise Community for almost 12 years shared their success story with us. They are a development of 136 homes located within mature pine and hardwood forest. This community keeps busy all year hosting clean up days in early spring and late fall where 50 to 60 community volunteers show up at each event to remove dead branches and brush and haul this material to a community burn pile.
Twenty to forty dump truck loads of material are removed and burnt each year as a result of these ongoing fire prevention efforts. The volunteers work from 9 AM to 1 PM ending the work day with a community lunch, that everyone in the community is invited to attend.
According to Bob Sutton, the president of the Sky Association Board of Directors, “This effort has resulted in improved fire awareness and improved fire safety for our owners. It also has turned into a fun community event and a chance to meet neighbors and socialize together for a common cause. Kids also participate which gives them a sense of volunteerism and community service. … As a result of this program, our community property is enhanced and is a safer place to live. The Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources has also complemented us for excellent forest management on the lakeshore and common areas.” What firewise story does your community have to share?