Picture of demonstration garden planted by the Cragsmoor, New York Firewise USA™ site with their $500 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day award. Photo shared with NFPA by Heidi Wagner
If you are thinking about applying for a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day award but think that because you live in the Midwest or North East that you might not receive funding, please reconsider. In light of some recent wildfire events especially the devastating wildfire in Gatlinberg, Tennessee, we know that devastating wildfires can occur anywhere and at any time. Your community can apply today for a $500 award sponsored by a generous donation from State Farm no later than this Friday March 2 at midnight Eastern Standard Time.
An article posted in the NE Region Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy newsletter talks about how Craigsmoore a Firewise USA™ Site, used a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day grant as part a systematic approach to grow their wildfire safety program.
As Heidi Wagner, their community leader shared, “Cragsmoor, is a small hamlet in Wawarsing, NY, is situated atop the Shawangunk Ridge at the edge of a highly flammable natural area known as the Sam’s Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has identified the Shawangunk Ridge as one of the highest priority wildland-urban-interface areas in the State and Cragsmoor as one of the State’s primary communities at risk for wildfire.” Although the community is in a State not known for extensive wildfire activity, it has recently experienced large wildfires, including the Shawangunk Ridge Fire in 2015 (2,759 acres) and the Sam’s Point Fire in 2016 (2,028 acres).
Her community used their Wildfire Community Preparedness Day award to plant a garden sharing with residents how to landscape well around a home for wildfire safety. For more information about the success of this community check out the article; One New York Firewise USA® Site Blazes a Trail for Wildfire Safety in the State.