Lifestyle

Greenwater expected to see benefits of DNR fire wise project

Reducing the potential risk of wildfire damage to the Greenwater community and creating local jobs for experienced forestry contractors and crews are the keys to the state Department of Natural Resources’ Greenwater Firewise Stimulus Project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to DNR’s Jane Potter, the project will focus on constructing strategically located shaded fuel breaks around the Greenwater communities. Using stimulus grant funding, the crews will thin, prune and remove wildland fire fuels using chainsaws and chippers. These treatments will modify fire size, intensity and behavior and reduce the risk to firefighters, residents, homes, infrastructure and natural resources. The benefits will be reduced fire suppression costs and increased firefighter and public safety.

Another major part of this project, Potter noted, is working with Greenwater residents to build Firewise defensible space around their homes. DNR wildland foresters will work with residents, conducting wildfire risk assessments and fire prevention education.

Greenwater homeowners can sign up for free assistance in removing forest debris piles stacked at the end of their driveways. Contract crews are available for those who are physically unable to perform the Firewise work themselves.

This project is slated to begin April 1 and run through Nov. 30. Contractors and Greenwater homeowners and residents are encouraged to contact the Department of Natural Resources: contact Potter at 360-802-7030 or jane.potter@dnr.wa.gov or Charley Burns at 360-802-7005 or charley.burns@wa.dnr.gov.

DNR is seeking more communities and community members to become Firewise communities.

Citizen involvement is the cornerstone of the program. Residents in this area live where wildfires are a risk to property, loved ones and community. Accepting personal responsibility for fire prevention around homes helps local firefighters concentrate on fighting wildfires, while keeping everyone safe from loss and injury. Being prepared before a wildfire happens can increase a home’s chance of survivability. The Firewise Communities/USA Program can make homes and communities safer from wildfires.

For information about becoming a Firewise Community, contact the DNR or visit www.firewise.org.

Information for this story was submitted by Jane Potter, Community Environmental Outreach Specialist 2 for the South Puget Sound Region Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

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