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Fire Council earns recognition for decade-long wildfire prevention

Summary

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.

Story

A wildfire that threatened a Carnation-area neighborhood more than a decade ago has had a positive andFirewise_051514 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 Washington 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.

“I am so impressed with the formation of the Tolt Triangle Fire Council and what they have done to make communities safe from wildfires,” said Councilmember Lambert. “The cooperation and collaboration that this has entailed will serve as a positive role model for other communities.”  

Hiring a forester to thin dangerously overcrowded forest stands, developing phone trees and email lists, and putting community evacuation guidelines in place are among the wildfire prevention techniques that the Fire Council has put in place to protect some 500 homes across a 5,800-acre expanse of forested foothills.

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 Foresty 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.