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Dammeron Valley earns national recognition for wildfire preparedness

Dammeron Valley was recognized by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as a designated Firewise USA® community thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Valley’s residents. Dammeron Valley is the only Firewise USA® community in Good Standing in Washington County.

 

The Dammeron Valley Fire Special Service District (District) and Dammeron Valley Fire & Rescue (DVFR) initiated efforts in late 2020 to establish a nationally deployable wildland fire program and position Dammeron Valley as a recognized fire adaptive community. These efforts included community wildfire education events, participation in the NFPA’s National Wildfire Preparedness Month each May, property assessments conducted by DVFR members, and fuels mitigation activities.

 

“With the assistance of Utah’s Department of Natural Resources’ Forestry, Fire & State Lands Division and FEMA grant programs, DVFR established the community’s drive to remove fuels in high-risk areas,” stated DVFR Fire Chief John Hennessey. “Dammeron Valley’s residents really stepped up in the last 24 months by removing fuels, attending community wildfire workshops, and requesting fuel assessments around their homes.”

 

The Firewise USA® program was established in 2002 with a small group of 12 pilot sites, nine of which are still active. Two of the original sites were in Utah and are still active today in Emigration Canyon and Sundance. Nationally, more than 2,400 communities are in Good Standing with the program, which requires meeting minimum investment requirements each year for wildfire mitigation. The hours community members spend on mitigation activities, such as education and fuels reduction on their properties, are used to satisfy the investment requirement. Dammeron Valley exceeded its investment requirement of $14,946 with a contribution of $16,509 based upon the hours submitted by community members.

 

“Securing this national recognition for Dammeron Valley, the District, and DVFR demonstrates what we can achieve when we partner in support of a common goal,” said District Chair Ryan Andersen. “This would not have been possible without the strong community support and residents’ efforts.”

 

Dammeron Valley is now listed on NFPA’s website as a Firewise USA® community and will be displayed on the organization’s interactive map. Additionally, signs will be installed at Dammeron Valley’s entrances announcing the community’s status as a Firewise USA® site.

 

Maintaining a Good Standing status with the program requires ongoing mitigation and education efforts. Dammeron Valley residents are encouraged to continue to report fuel mitigation work through the form available on DVFR’s website and attend community wildfire education events. Community members can also get involved with the Community Fire Council, which works on projects such as updating the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), a key component of maintaining this status.

 

“We are excited to achieve this milestone and I thank the community members for their hard work in getting us here,” Chief Hennessey finished, “We still have a lot of work to do but this is a great achievement that has taken a number of years to accomplish.”



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