A Firewise site in California used the five-year anniversary of a tragic wildfire and the rebuilding of a damaged local bridge to host an innovative community event that drew residents and numerous local agencies. The event illustrates how a Firewise site can sustain local risk knowledge, while also bringing neighbors together in a challenging time to gain wildfire education and guidance on what they can accomplish around their own homes individually.
A local newspaper article highlighted that the Cobb Firewise Group 2 in Lake County, California, hosted a, “ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the newly restored bridge and a drive-thru contest where participating residents decorated their own vehicles or golf carts and drove them across the bridge.” This, among other events held this year, helped Cobb Firewise Group 2 renew and continue their active status in the Firewise USA Program.
I caught up with the site’s organizer, Cindy Leonard, who shared with me that they, “have been hard at work on fire preparedness and emergency preparedness, while we are also still in the midst of disaster recovery from the Valley Fire National Disaster in 2015.”
Adapting to the realities of 2020, Cindy explained that, “The Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Cobb Area Council started doing two annual preparedness events a few years back. When it came time to do our Spring event we needed to pivot to the drive-through model due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are used to pivoting around here, due to PSPS [public safety power shut off] events, evacuations, smoke days, it seems like every year something new gets added to the list!”
To help host the event, Cindy noted that they, “received some funding through the EPIC/Listos program that North Coast Opportunities is administrating, as well as funds from the Rebuild North Bay foundation to do the spring drive-through event.”
We applaud Cobb Firewise Group 2’s commitment to the Firewise USA program through their innovative community outreach and to building resident empowerment around wildfire risks in Lake County, California. Learn more about what you can do around your home by taking a drive over to Firewise.org.
Photo Credit: Cindy Leonard, 21 October 2020.
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