The members of Lake Almanor Country Club were given an alarming wake-up call in 2012 when the Chips Fire burned into the Lake Almanor Basin. Fortunately, thanks to healthy forest management practices done by Collins Pines Company and Firewise practices taken by the Lake Almanor West community, the fire-fighting teams were able to contain the wildfire prior to reaching the lake itself and the lakeside communities.
We at Lake Almanor Country Club decided to form our own Firewise Community and took the steps to become a Certified Firewise USA Community in 2014 and every year since. We have had many positive outcomes from the Firewise program which provided us with online resources, literature, guidelines for fire safe practices, as well as inspiring articles and videos about what other successful communities have done. It gave us focus on identifying priorities to make our community safer, the first of which was to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which was completed in early 2016.
On Memorial Day weekend each year we have a Firewise booth at the Peninsula Fire Protection District’s pancake breakfast to educate our members. Our committee created a lot cleanup form for our members to report their participation, from which we have good response every year. We have invited county and CalFire speakers to our annual events to educate our members about creating defensible space. We provide regular monthly Firewise articles in our LACC Community newsletter and website Firewise resources.
In the spring, CalFire crews have twice done roadside fuels thinning and trimming in our community. We have also utilized the Plumas County Chipping Program. Both of which were at no cost to our members. Our committee has been an active participant in the Plumas County Fire Safe Council meetings in Quincy. We have been learning from the many participating groups, which includes possible grant opportunities through the Council to do more defensible space work, one of which is a shaded fuel break between our community and a neighboring large land holder. Our committee has also recommended to our Board to create a second internal shaded fuel break utilizing our golf course and HOA commons.
If you are interested in learning more about Fire Safe Council assistance, plan to attend the upcoming Plumas County Fire Safe Council meeting on Thursday, June 13, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Plumas County Planning & Building Services office, 555 Main St., in Quincy.
For questions or comments regarding activities of the Plumas County Fire Safe Council, or for information about the next meeting, contact Hannah Hepner, 927-5281.
The Lake Almanor Country Club has also had great support from the beginning from the Fire Prevention Specialist with the Plumas County Office of Emergency Services to guide us regarding emergency preparedness and defensible space specifics.
Our very active committee has been diligently working with our HOA and Board to educate ourselves about Fire Safe practices, thanks to CalFire efforts on our behalf. Our greatest challenge is that ours is mostly a seasonal community with many second homes. Again the recent tragic and destructive wildfires in rural forested communities like ours has given even more urgency to our efforts. Complacency is a killer. We hope we can convey that message to our community through an ongoing Firewise education effort!