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WILDLAND

Utah Communities Take Action on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm® champion the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, a national campaign throughout the United States and Canada. May 4, 2019, was the 6th Annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. The Preparedness Day is a call to action that gives community members of all ages a chance to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity to make their community a safer place. Residents living in high-risk wildfire areas, who want to take steps to increase their safety but are unsure how to start, can find the information—and the inspiration—they need to organize and accomplish wildfire risk reduction projects in their community. “Nearly 400 structures were lost to wildfire in 2018, primarily in Duchesne County due to the Dollar Ridge Fire where at least 87 homes burned,” says Jennifer Hansen, Utah’s wildfire risk reduction coordinator for Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands (FFSL). “That’s why several communities organized an event on this day and are committed to working together with FFSL, NFPA, State Farm, and other partners to make their community safer from the threat of wildfire. We believe the Preparedness Day is a great way to raise awareness of this important issue.” As event sponsors, the NFPA and State Farm® awarded a $500 grant to two communities in Utah: Stockton/South Rim in Tooele County and North Sanpete Community Wildfire Council in Sanpete County. Stockton and South Rim in Tooele County The combined event for the Town of Stockton and the unincorporated community of South Rim, both in Tooele County, was coordinated by Amy Lyman. The goal of the event was to

6 | UFRA Straight Tip

educate homeowners on defensible space and actually get them to work on it. The event also aimed to build fire department and community relations. Although the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day was officially May 4th, Stockton and South Rim actually started the event in April, when information was sent out to homeowners on ideas to create and maintain defensible space around homes, such as trimming low branches on trees, mowing down weeds, and removing debris near homes. The information was distributed by social media, electronic road signs (provided by the county), and flyers sent out with the water bills. Ms. Lyman added, “As a member of the local fire department, I have also been providing wildfire property assessments to help residents identify those projects that will be most beneficial to protecting their homes.” On the day of the event, the two communities gathered at the Stockton Community Park to share projects that were accomplished and compile the hours homeowners spent on their properties. Ms. Lyman reported that “250 people attended and logged 172 hours of defensible space projects completed in conjunction with our event.” In addition, the day’s event included activities that engaged the entire family, and the Tooele County fire warden, Dan Walton, gave a projection of the upcoming 2019 fire season. North Sanpete Community Wildfire Council in Sanpete County The event in North Sanpete was organized by Kathi Walters and others from the North Sanpete Community Wildfire Council, who partnered with Hideaway Valley residents, Indianola Valley Fire Department, FFSL, and youth from the Youth in Custody Program.

Ms. Walters described that the day of the event consisted of clearing downed trees, slash, and ladder fuels along the easement of Shadow Canyon Drive. She stated, “Identified as a fire risk, this one-mile stretch of road winds through the northeast perimeter of Hideaway Valley and then follows most of the eastern edge of Hideaway as it heads south. Adjacent lots are primarily absentee landowners meaning little or no fuel mitigation is done.” The event’s goal was to enhance the road as a fuel break, provide better access for brush trucks, and raise community awareness regarding the importance of fuel mitigation. A total of 24 community members and volunteers showed up to haul and cut woody material and slash to the road and into trailers to transport to the chipping site, unload woody material into piles for chipping, and sort larger material into piles for firewood. At the end of the day, eight trailer loads of vegetation had been removed from the community’s high firerisk project area. This year was the 6th Annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Event. You can help promote wildfire safety by encouraging residents to work together on a project or event next year on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Participation helps create a sense of community, where neighbors begin to look out for and care about each other. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day projects can also help strengthen relationships among residents, the local fire department, land management agencies, community leaders, and elected officials. Get more information at https://www.nfpa. org/Public-Education/Campaigns/NationalWildfire-Community-Preparedness-Day.

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UFRA Straight Tip Summer 2019 - Volume 20, Issue 3  

UFRA Straight Tip (ISSN 1932-2356) is published quarterly by Utah Valley University and the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy (https://www.uvu.edu/...

UFRA Straight Tip Summer 2019 - Volume 20, Issue 3  

UFRA Straight Tip (ISSN 1932-2356) is published quarterly by Utah Valley University and the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy (https://www.uvu.edu/...

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