Washington’s first born Firewise Community is 15 years old

Left to right: Gary Marshall, Hilary Franz, Mike Thompson, Fire Commissioner Jack Hensley, Fire Commissioner Roger Krieger, Assistant Fire Chief Lonnie Rash. Photo by Joe Smillie

Spokane’s River Bluff Ranch wasn’t just the first community in Washington to become Firewise, it was one of the program’s first pilot sites in the nation. Today, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz honored River Bluff Ranch with an award of recognition for its 15th year as a Firewise Community. A nationwide program, Firewise Communities USA encourages neighbors to work together to reduce their wildfire risks.

From its beginnings as a new subdivision, River Bluff Ranch incorporated Firewise principles, such as survivable spaces, fire breaks, special building materials and safe routes for people to safely evacuate.

Like many other communities in fire-prone areas, River Bluff Ranch offers its residents the opportunity to live closer to nature. What’s different is that the subdivision was designed to survive a major wildfire with little or no help from firefighters. Why? The community’s developer says it’s the right thing to do.

See what the River Bluff Ranch developer accomplished on this YouTube Video: Safer from the State: Developing a Firewise Community

Everyone has a role in creating a survivable space for their homes and property, so help out firefighters. Now’s a great time! Learn what you can do to start protecting yourself and your neighbors from wildfire damage. Go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/firewise.

Congratulations River Bluff Ranch on your 15th year as a Firewise Community! You’ve done an amazing job reducing your wildfire risk.

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