Agate Bay community earns national recognition for wildfire preparedness
Agate Bay is the fifth community in North Tahoe to receive the National Fire Protection Association’s recognition as a Firewise community. The Firewise USA program teaches residents how to adapt to living in a wildfire area, and helps guide residents on the most effective actions to prevent home ignitions and wildfire disasters.
The Agate Bay community in Lake Tahoe consists of 450 homes on approximately 250 acres of Wildland Urban Intermix. The Firewise USA program provided the volunteer group with a framework to engage neighbors to work together in coordination with North Tahoe Fire and the Placer County Fire Safe Alliance. Stakeholders completed a community wildfire risk assessment and developed an action plan to guide their efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire. The committee met with District staff to receive education on defensible space compliance and fire prevention, and shared that information with their community members. These efforts improve the community’s chance of wildfire survival through practical actions in risk reduction and emergency preparedness.
“The Agate Bay Firewise Committee is proud of receiving national recognition as a Firewise Community,” said John McQuitty, Firewise leader. “Thanks to all the hard work by the Agate Bay Residents in performing Defensible Space on and around their homes and property, attending educational events, and workdays. Their participation and work help to strengthen our community’s resilience to wildfire in the Basin.”
“Neighbors collectively spread the message of prevention and preparedness, which encourages on-the-ground- work to take place,” said Eric Horntvedt, North Tahoe Fire’s Forest Fuels Coordinator. “The time invested into our community compounds, and we commend the Agate Bay Firewise Committee for their ongoing efforts to proactively prepare for wildfire at the community level, while emphasizing the necessity of emergency preparedness.”
Firewise USA is a nationwide program that provides formal recognition to communities implementing actions to protect people and properties from the risk of fire in the wildland/urban interface. Participants reduce their wildfire risks by actively participating in the program and completing requirements each year.
One of the many benefits of achieving the Firewise USA recognition, includes access to discounts for homeowners’ insurance currently offered by USAA and Mercury Insurance. Communities interested in participating in the Firewise USA program can learn more at http://www.ntfire.net/firewise-usa.
Source: North Tahoe Fire Protection District
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Firefighters are no stranger to being deployed on 14-day assignments during disasters, and this winter, crews will don a different uniform as they report to hospitals instead of wildfires.