I am so proud of Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates in North Carolina! The community is celebrating its 5th year of participation in NFPA's Firewise Communities/USA program, a voluntary initiative to protect local residents, their property and natural resources from wildfires.
Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates became a Firewise community in 2007. Since then, the community created and executed a variety of activities to help create the best wildfire prevention plan for the community. Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates’ anniversary was marked by a community wide debris cleanup campaign lasting the entire month of April followed by a picnic on June 11th.
“Because wildfires are burning hotter and faster than ever before, it’s more important than ever to take safety steps now,” said Norton Carey, Chairman of the Firewise Fire Prevention Committee. “Wildfires will happen, and we want to be as ready as possible to prevent damage to our community’s buildings, resources and of course, our residents.”
Some of the Firewise activities undertaken by the community over the years include:
- With the help of the local NC Department of Forest Resources Rangers, community leaders visited all 62 homes to help conduct home assessments and educate residents as to what they can do to avoid their home becoming fuel for a fire
- Community volunteers cleared tons of brush and vegetation around homes and roadways
- Residents replaced flammable mulch and vegetation around their homes with non-flammable options outlined in a Firewise publication
- Improved an emergency access road for additional evacuation safety and fire equipment entry
- Created and distributed an emergency evacuation guide
Since becoming a Firewise Communities/USA site, Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates now has a yearly spring cleanup of debris (fuel) to help prevent a fire from spreading (the first such community cleanup in 25 years). They also have a fall leaf cleanup along their roadways to prevent dropped cigarettes from starting a forest fire.
I am so proud that Pisgah Forest Farms/Estates has reached this anniversary milestone. Their motivation and dedication has truly helped minimize wildfire risk factors, and their hard work surely has paid off.
Visit the Firewise Communities/USA area of the Firewise website to find out more about how your community can begin the assessment process and start on their path to safer homes and a fire-adapted community setting.