Firewise: Wood Debris Collected Possible

Home Wildfire Mitigation Grant Possible

It is difficult to break old habits, good or bad, but if we are willing to accept a new format by the NC State Forestry Service, it is possible that we can take advantage of their offer to remove our collected wood debris from around our homes as prescribed by the Firewise USA® program. As mentioned many, many times before, in its simplest terms, the program advises homeowners to be in a home that is fire retardant and keep the 30-foot radius around your home free of easily combustible materials. The next 70 feet should be clear of fallen limbs and trees, standing dead trees, pine tree grottos, and limbed-up live trees.

Under the old program, the Firewise Committee would estimate how much money would be needed to remove all the homeowners’ collected debris before it was collected and piled by the roadside. Then the committee would apply for an 80/20 matching grant. Once the vendor was paid for the removal service by the HOA, the committee would submit an application for reimbursement. We have submitted seven grants in the last 10 years (and been fully paid for all of them).

Under the new format , the homeowner interested in cleaning up the 100-foot home radius will take a “guestimate” of how many piles of wood he will personally produce. A “pile” is defined by wood stacked 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet long, i.e., measured and stacked in one cord piles. This pilot program was created and is being monitored by our District 10 Chief Fire Ranger, Justin Query. He fully realizes that for the average homeowner, this estimate is going to be a challenge, but hopes the homeowner can get within a 20% plus or minus accuracy. Your number of “piles” estimate count can be in whole, half, or quarter pile increments. In other words 1½ piles equals one 4’x4’x8’ pile plus one 4’x4’x4’.

The Individual Homeowner Application is available on the Downloads page of our website . Your application form containing your address and pile estimate count must be submitted to the committee by November 30, 2019 . PLEASE NOTE: you should not start collecting any debris until we know we have been accepted in this new program. It is expected that the grants will be competitive. Those communities that are accepted will be notified by early December. If we are accepted, you will have December and January to stack your piles. Sometime in February, a professional tree service hired by Ranger Query will come into our community but only chip up the wood collected by those who submitted a November application!

Curtis Ish: Firewise Committee