Firewise Community

Genesee manages nearly 1200 acres of Open Space, of which about 60% is forested.

For the past 25 years, Genesee Foundation has allocated funds to enhance forest health and increase fire safety by thinning to reduce fire fuels, cutting trees to create shaded fuel breaks which helps firefighters in the event of a wildfire, and removing less-healthy trees so that the healthiest ones can get enough water to thrive. The Foundation also removes diseased and beetle-killed trees when they threaten the health of the surrounding forest. A full explanation of Open Space management activities is provided in the annual Genesee Open Space Management Plan.

 

What is a Firewise Community?

Genesee was among the first in the country to participate in the Firewise Communities Program  and is now respected nationally as a Firewise Community. Firewise is a key component of Fire Adapted Communities – a collaborative approach that connects all those who play a role in wildfire education, planning, and action with comprehensive resources to help reduce risk. (The program is co-sponsored by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.)

What immediate actions can homeowners take?

Besides trees, residents can remove shrubs, grass, pine needles and other flammable materials from the space immediately adjacent to their homes to reduce vulnerability to fire.

This program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire in two ways by encouraging homeowners to:

This program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire in two ways by encouraging homeowners to:

  • Take individual action

  • Work together with their neighbors to prepare everyone’s homes and property to reduce the risk of loss of life or property from a wildfire.

Why are collaborative efforts important?

  • Maintaining the health of trees and reducing their density on private property is a critical component of fire protection and fire risk mitigation in Genesee. If trees on several residents’ lots and the surrounding Open Space are spaced widely apart, limbed-up, and healthy, those residents’ risk of loss is lowered. But if tree density on a nearby property is thick and with trees weakened by drought, the risk of wildfire damage in the neighborhood and on the adjacent Open Space is increased. The increased intensity of a wildfire on an unmitigated neighbor’s property will increase the risk to all nearby homes.

  • Genesee Fire and Safety Committee (GFSC) encourages residents and the Foundation to mitigate risk factors wherever possible to protect their own property and the rest of the community from wildfire. To this end, they are also looking into other ways to encourage more homeowners to become involved in our fire mitigation efforts. These include educational programs and cost-saving initiatives such as the yearly community-wide slash pickups, grants, and group discounts on tree removal and other services.
  • In addition to fire mitigation, GFSC’s overarching goal is to help Genesee by educating and facilitating action regarding all safety issues of community interest. Check the GFSC webpage, The Genescene and Foundation emails for more information on these and other programs.
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