Firewise Communities/USA® is a chartered national organization dedicated to lessening the danger of wildfires to established communities that are in our forests and wildland areas. As of June 2009, there were 484 certified communities in 38 states enrolled in the Firewise program. In October 2009, the Springs at High Rock received its certification. The requirements for certification included: (1) an assessment of the community’s exposure to wildfires by the NC Forestry Service and suggestions on how to mitigate our exposure, (2) establishment of a committee dedicated to implementing those suggestions, (3) a commitment of $2.00 per capita per year in money or time work credits toward reaching those goals and (4) submission of an action plan of short, intermediate and long term projects to accomplish the goals.
Enrollment in the Firewise Communities/USA® program allows the community to apply for federal and state grant money to help in reaching the goals.
Firewise committee members for 2010 are Jim Kelley, Jerry Parish and Curtis Ish. Our intermediate goals are completion of a secondary emergency egress-only roadway onto Route 8 from Sierra Trace along the old fire tower road, a comprehensive evacuation protocol and preliminary planning for a second source of fire-fighting water at the western end of Rocky Cove Lane. Long-range plans are under development. The goal of establishing a comprehensive evacuation protocol was accomplished in April of 2010 and can be accessed from the web site Menu Category “Emergency Response and Evacuation Plan.” The “Quick Guide for Emergency Response” is a memory refresher outline of the fire response plan and has been given to each homeowner in a laminated sheet form. Copies can be obtained from the “Downloads” section of our web site. Phase 1 of the emergency exit fire tower road project has been completed and can be used presently if needed. Hopefully, a second source of water on the west side of the community for fighting house fires will be accomplished in 2011.
Currently, the Committee is working with the Architectural Review Committee to provide three booklets to prospective builders/homeowners that contain Firewise information for recommended landscaping and building in our forested community. These booklets have been downloaded in the “Downloads” section of the web site. Click on the titles below to view:
“Firewise Safer From the Start“, a very good booklet for developers, builders and homeowners designing their new home “Firewise Guide to Landscaping and Construction“, an outline explaining the zone concept of home and landscape layout, and “Firewise Landscaping in NC” a listing of the plants native to NC with their flammability ratings so the home owner can make an informed decision on what to plant around his home.
To contact the Firewise Committee with questions and/or comments please send an email.
Updates will be posted in the weekly email Springs Newsletter.