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Holiday Island

Holiday IslandHoliday Island is an unincorporated retirement/resort community that was established in 1974. The community encompasses approximately 4,500 acres and has grown to a population of about 3,700, making it one of the largest in Carroll County. Holiday Island is located within 50 miles of the rapidly growing northwest Arkansas metropolitan area that includes Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale. Springfield, Missouri is located about 80 miles to the northeast.

Holiday IslandThe topography of Holiday Island ranges from lakefront properties at about 950 feet in elevation to mountaintop homes at 1,400 feet. Most of the area is forested with hardwoods and scattered pines. Dense underbrush and cedar trees are found in much of the community, including many overgrown areas that are quite close to homes. The topography and vegetation of much of the Holiday Island community make it susceptible to wildfire problems that could endanger residents' homes and possibly their lives. Although Holiday Island has an excellent fire department, traditional firefighting resources are focused on residential fires and small brush fires. If a widespread wildfire event were to occur in the area, available resources would be insufficient to prevent significant home loss.

Holiday IslandWhen Holiday Island residents became aware of the Firewise program in the middle of 2003, it seemed ideal for the community. They met with the Firewise Coordinator for the State of Arkansas and the Holiday Island Firewise Board was created in July. Since that time, fire department staff members have been trained to perform risk assessment, a Firewise Day was held, a neighborhood was selected as a Firewise pilot project area, and a smaller demonstration project area was assessed and modified to provide residents with a sample of good Firewise preparations around a building. In the future, the Board plans to complete a community-wide assessment, to proceed with voluntary risk assessments throughout the community, and to assist with voluntary treatment of individual properties within the pilot project area to show what the Firewise program can do for area residents. If time and resources permit, a community-wide chipper day will be sponsored to assist residents who have cleaned up their own lots. Additional educational activities will be scheduled to provide more information to residents on fire dangers in the Holiday Island area as well as on the activities and benefits of the Firewise program.