[2/2/17] Washington Paves Way With Most Firewise Communities Established In 2016
DNR grants helping 21 communities prepare for 2017 wildfire season
Washingtonians are recognizing the growing threat of wildfire. In 2016, Washington led the nation in the number of neighborhoods joining the Firewise Communities USA Program with 32 communities making new commitments.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) works with numerous conservation districts, local fire districts and county agencies to encourage neighbors to work together, often through Firewise, to prepare for the possibility of a wildfire.
Washington now has 142 active Firewise Communities. While this ranks the state third in the nation, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz who oversees DNR — Washington’s largest wildland firefighting agency — says that many more communities need to join them.
“Firewise Communities are building momentum and setting examples,” says Franz. “Ultimately, we want Washington to be the most wildfire-prepared state in the nation. Here at DNR, we intend to continue providing the help and support that our residents need to get there.”
DNR grants to make 21 communities more resilient by May
Today, DNR announced 21 communities that will get funds for fuel mitigation work to prepare for the fast-approaching 2017 fire season. Some of these communities are already Firewise-recognized, others are just getting started.
Each recipient is contributing their own labor and equipment to match the $1,000 to $15,000 DNR fuel mitigation grants. The funding to support these efforts came from the 2016 State Legislature.
This legislative season, DNR is asking for $12.4 million to perform forest health work such as the thinning and fuel reduction efforts these communities are undertaking. A part of this funding request would include the creation of 80 more Firewise Communities across Washington.
The NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent loss. For more Firewise information, visit www.dnr.wa.gov/firewise.
New Firewise Communities and DNR grant recipients
- Leavenworth – New Firewise communities: Alpine Tracts, Chiwawa Loop, Chiwawa River Pines, Kahler Glen, North Shore Lake Wenatchee, River Road, Ski Hill, South Shore Lake Wenatchee and Whispering Pines. Grant recipients: Kahler Glen Community Association, South Shore, Chiwawa Loop Firewise Community and Ski Hill Firewise Community.
- Wenatchee – New Firewise communities: Broadview Community and Jennings.
- Orondo – New Firewise community: Lake Entiat Estates.
- Redmond – New Firewise community: Trilogy at Redmond Ridge.
- Seattle – Grant recipient: Stellerwood.
- Cle Elum – New Firewise communities: Goat Peak Ranch and Lauderdale Ridge.
- Roslyn – New Firewise community: Wildwood.
- Snoqualmie Pass – New Firewise community: Hyak.
- Goldendale – Grant recipient: Keystone Acres HOA.
- Lyle – New Firewise community: High Prairie.
- Mazama – New Firewise community: Chechaquo Ranch. Grant recipient: Wilson Ranch Property Owners Association.
- Winthrop – New Firewise community: Wolf Creek POA.
San Juan County
- Friday Harbor – New Firewise communities: Eagle Crest, Hidden Meadows, Summerfield Ranch. Grant recipients: San Juan Island Fire Department and University Heights Association.
- Waldron – Grant recipient: Waldron Island Fire Brigade.
- Colbert – New Firewise community: Half Moon Estates.
- 9 Mile Falls – Grant recipients: Ritchy Road and Four Mound.
- Spokane – Grant recipients: Flowery Trail Community Association and Wilderness Lakes Homeowners Association.
- Valleyford – Grant recipient: Spokane County Fire District 8.
- North Cascades National Park – New Firewise Community: North Cascades Learning Center.
- Bellingham – Grant recipient: Hillside Community of Sudden Valley.
- Maple Falls – Grant recipient: Paradise Lakes Country Club.
- Naches – New Firewise communities: Bear Cove Cabins, Big Rock Road, Pine Cliffs Maintenance Company, Union Creek Cabin Tract, Sleepy Hollow Cabin Tract. Grant recipients: Big Rock/Rock Creek Firewise Community and Pine Cliffs Maintenance Company.
- Yakima – New Firewise community: North Fork Tampico. Grant recipient: North Fork Tampico Company.