Alpine Peaks community earns recognition for wildfire preparedness
The commitment and hard work of homeowners in the Alpine Peaks Community was recognized by receiving the National Fire Protection Association’s designation as a firewise community.
The Alpine Peaks Firewise Committee completed a rigorous set of criteria required to participate in the national program by coordinating 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 in their community. The committee met with District staff to receive education on defensible space compliance and fire prevention information in order to take that information and further educate their community members.
The committee chose FireWise USA when they recognized the community needed to collaborate to reduce the wildfire risk for Alpine Peaks’ 97 properties. “Our neighborhood was strongly motivated by several factors including illegal campfires, nearby lighting strikes, and insurance non-renewals,” said Bob Zimmerman, Alpine Peaks co- leader.
The program provides the group with a framework to engage neighbors to work together to increase the community’s chance of wildfire survival through proactive actions in risk reduction efforts and emergency preparedness.
“Our recent FireWise certification was the result of the remarkable efforts of our neighbors to create defensible space, and the dedication of the Alpine Peaks FireWise team,” said Greg Briggs, Alpine Peaks co-leader. “We all worked together towards a common goal; to make our community better prepared for wildfire. The mentoring provided by North Tahoe Fire staff was invaluable to our success. We also recognize that this is the first step; each year we all need to maintain and improve defensible space. We encourage other communities to pursue FireWise recognition; we live in a beautiful area but we need to act to help preserve it. There are many opportunities available in the Basin to learn how to accomplish this goal, which helps all of us.”
“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 Alpine Peaks Firewise Committee for their ongoing efforts to proactively prepare for wildfire at the community level, while emphasizing the necessity of emergency preparedness.”
North Tahoe and Meeks Bay Fire Protection Districts
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.
Communities interested in participating in the Firewise USA program can learn more at http://www.firewise.org/usa.
Source: North Tahoe Fire Protection District
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