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Wedgefield

WedgefieldWedgefield is a development of over 6,500 acres of planned 1/4 acre and one- to five-acre home sites located about 30 miles east of Orlando, Florida. Approximately 1,300 homes have been constructed there. Many lots are being held as investments by absentee owners. Since construction began in Wedgefield, both prescribed and controlled fire activities have been curtailed there. As a result, vegetative fuels have accumulated and pose an increasing wildfire risk. The development contains many dead-end roads and its power lines are above ground. It has fire hydrants only in the one square mile where the 1/4 acre lots are located and the nearest fire station is ten miles away.

Wedgefield, FLIn 2001, Wedgefield formed a Firewise Board that oversaw the creation of a fuel break using a Florida Division of Forestry Wildfire Mitigation Team. The team spent one week mowing the outside perimeter of Wedgefield's most vulnerable areas. In September, the Board developed an implementation plan that contained two "first steps"---(1) presenting an education workshop and (2) addressing local mitigation issues. The Wedgefield Homeowners Association accepted the following revision to its Codes and Covenants and scheduled it for final approval by December 31, 2002: "In the Estate section, driveways and access must lead to the house. Access gates shall be a minimum of fifteen (15) feet in width and have a minimum vertical clearance above the full length of access of fourteen (14) feet to provide access for emergency vehicles."

Wedgefield, FLDuring 2002, activities continued in Wedgefield. In February a workshop with builders and homeowners was presented. The Firewise Board participated in the annual Community Yard Sale in March with displays of fire equipment and Firewise plants. It also presented a Firewise landscaping workshop. A table was sponsored at the annual Wedgefield Golf Tournament in May and each player (approximately 100) was provided a Firewise information packet. In July, the Board participated in a mini Firewise workshop and the Board presented information in August to the Palm Coast Firewise group. An educational event was presented at the Lowes Home Improvement Store with equipment displays and education material distributed.

Wedgefield has enjoyed strong support from Orange County Fire Rescue Department, Florida Division of Forestry, Florida Department of Emergency Management, Ranger Drainage District, St. John's Water Management, Orange County Planning Department, University of Florida Orange County Cooperative Extension Service and Orange County Master Gardeners.