Tahoe City, Calif. Dec. 11, 2019 – The hard work of homeowners in the Alpine Meadows Community was recognized this month with the National Fire Protection Association’s designation as a Firewise USA® community.
The Alpine Meadows Fire Safe Council coordinated with North Tahoe Fire and the Placer County Fire Safe Alliance to complete a rigorous set of criteria required to participate in the national program. Stakeholders completed a community wildfire hazard assessment, and developed an action plan to guide their efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire in their community.
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To implement the program, homeowners logged more than 1,271 volunteer hours of defensible space work, which resulted in the removal of 326 cubic yards of biomass through the curbside chipping and defensible space program supported by the Alpine Springs County Water District. Collectively, the ASCWD and HOAs documented nearly $63,000 invested in fire prevention/defensible space work for the 2019 season, in addition to what private homeowners invested. Stakeholders also participated in numerous meetings, offered free defensible space inspections to homeowners, organized and held a community work day, evacuation drill planning and coordination meetings, and a bi-valley evacuation drill hosted by Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Ski Resort; all of which count towards the required “risk reduction investments” of the program.
“The time we invest into our communities is multiplied exponentially as neighbors communicate and collectively spread the message of prevention and preparedness, which engages additional collaboration and encourages on-the-ground-work to take place,” said Eric Horntvedt, North Tahoe Fire’s Forest Fuels Coordinator. “We commend the Alpine Meadows Community’s ongoing efforts to proactively prepare for wildfire at the community level, as well as 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.
Communities interested in participating in the Firewise USA® program can learn more at www.firewise.org/usa.