A wildfire that threatened a Carnation-area neighborhood more than a decade ago has had a positive and long-lasting effect on several forested King County communities.
Formed in the aftermath of a close call with a wildfire in 2003, the Tolt Triangle Fire Council recently received special recognition for maintaining its Firewise Communities/USA recognition status over the past 10 years.
Jane Potter, the Firewise Communities Coordinator for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, South Puget Sound Region, presented the award at a special ceremony during Wildfire Awareness Month that included the King County Rural Forest Commission and a representative from King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert’s office.
The Fire Council hired a forester to thin dangerously overcrowded forest stands. They also developed phone and email lists and created evacuation guidelines in order to protect some 500 homes across a 5,800-acre expanse of forested foothills in western Washington.
With help from a King County forester and Eastside Fire and Rescue, the group completed a wildfire risk assessment and the first state-approved Community Wildfire Protection Plan west of the Cascades.
The Tolt Triangle Firewise Community encompasses the communities of Tolt River Highlands, Lake Joy, North Lake Joy Estates, and The Reserve at Lake Joy. Barbara Powrie, Lindy Friedlander, and Jeff Madden received the award on behalf of the Tolt Triangle Fire Council.
The King County Forestry Program offers free assistance to residents of rural forested areas to assess their risk from wildfire and develop and implement community wildfire safety plans. Modeled after the national Firewise program, such plans prevent the loss of lives, property, and resources to wildfire while encouraging forest stewardship among landowners. Contact the Forestry Program at 206-477-4842.
Remember, if you don’t clear for defensible space and a fire comes through, you could lose everything!
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