Pine Forest Firewise Program
Thank you for your interest in the Pine Forest Firewise program! What you will find here:
• A “who, what, why” explanation of our approach to Firewise.
• A Firewise FAQ. Additional FAQs will appear on a periodic basis. Let one of the Firewise Committee members know if you have a Firewise question, & it might appear as an FAQ. (See the members list at the bottom of this page.)
• Checklists of Firewise actions you can take on your property to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildland fire to your home and those of your neighbors. This set includes actions to take:
• at existing homes;
• within the defensible space of existing homes;
• on vacant lots;
• to improve emergency access to & egress from individual properties;
• as part of major remodeling/reconstruction or new construction projects.
These lists compile recommendations from a number of Firewise and related sources, with the intent of providing a single source of guidelines. (For example, less detailed sources often describe smaller defensible space zones, while those that address slope, aspect, and/or type of vegetation--two factors that greatly influence fire behavior--recommend larger zones in situations that are common in Pine Forest.) If you want a more customized set of recommendations, arrange a home risk assessment with the Okanogan Conservation District, Washington Department of Natural Resources, or Okanogan County Fire District 6. (You’ll want to be present during the assessment, to get the most customized advice.) The most important recommendation is to start at the house & work outward as you can.
Sample defensible space maps intended to function as a companion to the checklists. The maps show the areas within 30, 100, & 200’ of the house, which Firewise refers to as Zones 1, 2, and 3. They also show where the slopes in those zones are gentle, moderate, or steep, as well as portions of Zone 3 that are uphill of the house. Together, these factors determine Firewise recommendations for vegetation management. Finally, the maps also show where a house’s defensible space goes into a neighbor’s lot or vice-versa. If you would like such a map for your house, contact Heather.
• A list of Firewise actions that the PFOA plans to undertake. This list identifies a suite of actions recommended by Firewise or similar sources &/or suggested by residents, notes those that the Board has selected as priorities, & identifies the Committee member(s) who are leading progress on each item. The minutes from the Board’s 5 September quarterly meeting address some other suggested actions that the Board has chosen not to pursue. If you have additional suggestions, please share them with one or more Committee or Board members or the Pine Forest liaison.
• A map showing Pine Forest’s northeast emergency evacuation route.
• Instructions for obtaining a reflective blue 911 address sign. Depending on proceeds from the timber sale, we may be able to acquire signs next year for all houses that still don’t have them. Stay tuned.
• A tracking sheet to help us celebrate our progress toward being a Firewise community. The green cells identify Firewise actions taken since we started pursuing community Firewise designation, something related to future renewal of the designation. (The brown cells identify lots with houses, while the blue print highlights lots that have a blue 911 address sign.) There is no doubt that we have inadvertently missed listing Firewise actions, whether undertaken this year or before. Please let us know what more we can list for your property. See committee contact at bottom.
• A map of properties participating in next year’s timber sale. The intent of the timber sale is both to reduce fire risk & improve the health of our forest by removing trees that are too close to a structure or are unhealthy due to beetle or other infestation, mistletoe, disease, or structural damage. Green flags &/or yellow paint identify the targeted trees. If you would like to participate, but have not yet signed the release form, please contact Heather to get one.
• A list of links to Firewise & other materials. This list is not exhaustive, so if you have any favorites we haven’t included, let one of us know.
• The Pine Forest Firewise Committee members are listed below. If you would like to volunteer to be part of the committee, let one of us know.
• If you have any questions or know of some other Firewise information that would be good to include on this site, let one of the committee members know.
Thanks again for your interest & efforts in Firewise! As our tireless local KTRT radio personality and fire information disseminator Don Ashford often reminds us, "We’re all in this together."