Board members of the Hamilton Branch Firewise Committee take a moment and display some of the information they are disseminating as part of their efforts to inform and motivate community members to achieve a Firewise USA certification. From left, Billy Davies, Charlie Plopper (standing), Jan Hammill, Lisa Sedlak and Jan Bosworth. Board members not pictured are John Huggins, Mary Smith and Bud Bosworth. Photo submitted

Hamilton Branch establishes Firewise Committee

With all the turmoil in Northern California counties in the aftermath of the Carr and Camp Fires, many communities have been scrambling to help mitigate some of the shocking changes taking place with state regulations, rising insurance costs and even insurance cancellations.

The Chester area recently organized a Firewise committee and over the past few weeks residents in Hamilton Branch have established a committee and filed the paperwork with the Plumas County Office of Emergency Services.

Firewise is a community program that develops and implements local solutions for wildfire preparedness.

The overall Firewise goal is to assess properties within the boundaries of a Firewise community and identify areas where improvements can be made to reduce fire risk.

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The scope of the program is wide ranging and includes  home ignition zones, landscaping, roofing and vents, decks and porches, siding and windows, annual insurance check-up, emergency responder access and disaster planning.

Besides keeping a homeowner’s property in a lower risk condition, participating in Firewise joins residents with many other recognized Firewise Communities across the state and nation. “Recognized” Firewise communities are active in a continued effort and log the hours they spend mitigating high risk conditions.

The Hamilton Branch committee currently has about 22 members and they invite anyone living in the Branch area, the Highway 147 East Shore area and Seneca to join the group in their efforts.

Board member Bud Bosworth indicated the group is going “door to door” handing out Firewise USA brochures and volunteer hourly work sheets to verify the time spent in the community on mitigation.

He stressed the importance of logging any hours a homeowner spends trying to make his or her home safe from fire.

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Current committee board members are chair person Jan Hammill, Billy Davies, Bud and Jan Bosworth, Charlie Plopper, Lisa Sedlak and John Huggins.

A Firewise community certification is issued after the community verifies over 720 hours making the properties more fire resistant.