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Johnny Creek

Johnny CreekThe Johnny Creek Subdivision is a community located in the southwest portion of Pocatello, Idaho. It is consists of about 700 homes that sit on a hillside covered with dense juniper tree vegetation. The City of Pocatello has classified the community as being at the highest risk level for wildland/urban interface fire danger.

Since 2001, Three Rivers RC&D, the Pocatello Fire Department, and the Gateway Interagency Fire Front (GIFF) have been taking steps to improve fire education and prevention strategies in the wildland/urban interface areas surrounding Pocatello. From 2001 to 2002, Three Rivers RC&D sponsored a project staffed by the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Fire Education Corp. It completed a fuel reduction pilot project in the Johnny Creek community and introduced homeowners to Firewise principles and practices.

Johnny CreekIn 2003, this work continued as Three Rivers RC&D established the Wildland Fire Education Program (WFEP) to educate homeowners and provide assistance for reducing fuels around their homes. This same year, the WFEP conducted fire hazard assessments on every home in Johnny Creek and provided information on Firewise principles and practices to each homeowner.

The Bureau of Land Management and USDA-Forest Service have also been working with the Johnny Creek community to reduce the threat of wildfire loss. For the past two years, low intensity fuel reduction treatments, including prescribed burns and mechanical practices, have been carried out on public lands surrounding the Johnny Creek community.

Johnny CreekMore than thirty residences in Johnny Creek have participated in fuel reduction projects over the last four years. With 73 homeowners and volunteers contributing over 1,000 hours of their time, close to 100 tons of chipped woody material has been removed from the community. Uses have been found for most of the chips, thus avoiding placement of the material in the local landfill.

As result of homeowner interest, a Firewise Committee was developed in Johnny Creek Subdivision with the intent of continuing homeowner participation in reducing the threat of wildfire. The committee consists of homeowners and fire professionals who worked together to create a community plan.

Johnny CreekThe goal of the Johnny Creek Firewise plan is to continue accomplishing the Firewise activities performed in the past four years as well as to create new ways to reach out to homeowners in the subdivision. This community is fortunate enough to have many resources for carrying out their goals:

  • The Three Rivers RC&D WFEP and the GIFF organizations provide their expertise in assisting with the education of homeowners.
  • The WFEP has utilized grant funds to implement two fuel reduction programs assisting homeowners with fuel reduction around their homes:
    • The fuel reduction cost share program provides a 50% reimbursement to homeowners for costs incurred while reducing fuels around their homes.
    • The multi-home fuel reduction project requires homeowners to work together to reduce fuels around their homes and provides a chipper to dispose of these fuels.