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As a part of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, a Firewise Demonstration and Work Day in Graeagle was hosted by the newly formed Graeagle Firewise Action Group. Photos submitted

Volunteers host Wildfire Community Preparedness Day in Graeagle

Volunteers turned out armed with hand tools and the desire to learn more about how to create defensible space around a residence.

Graeagle Fire Protection District (GFPD) Firewise Community volunteers chose Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, May 4, to host their first Firewise demonstration/work day of the 2019 season.

Board members of the GFPD Firewise Community were pleased to be working with the newly formed Graeagle Firewise Action Group to make this event a huge success. Twenty volunteers turned out armed with hand tools and the desire to learn more about how to create defensible space around a residence as required by California Public Resource Code 4291.

“(a) A person who owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains a building or structure in, upon, or adjoining a mountainous area, forest-covered lands, brush-covered lands, grass-covered lands, or land that is covered with flammable material, shall at all times do all of the following:

Maintain defensible space of 100 feet from each side and from the front and rear of the structure, but not beyond the property line … .”

Chuck Bowman, GFPD Firewise coordinator, took the time to explain how to create a more fire resilient property while still leaving it attractive. After the initial demonstration, the volunteers were divided up into three groups and went to work on three separate properties within the community of Graeagle.

Two-and-a-half hours later, the transformation on these individual properties was remarkable. After the group loaded their hand tools and said goodbye, Esther Rimbault, one of the property owners, exclaimed that she was overwhelmed at the hard work of the nine volunteers that worked on her property and pleased with how much they accomplished. 

GFPD Firewise Community has active committees in the communities of Whitehawk, Valley Ranch, Mohawk Meadows, Sierra Estates and now Graeagle. When asked why she and Marian Haid started the Graeagle Firewise Action Group, Susan Harvey, co-chair, responded “We don’t want Graeagle to be the next Paradise.”

With the Firewise Demonstration/Work Day behind them, the Graeagle Firewise Action Group plans to promote Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) consultations within the Graeagle Community. These free consultations are designed to show home owners how they too can create a more a fire resilient property. To schedule your free HIZ Consultation, contact the Graeagle Fire Protection District at 836-1340.

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