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Lake Lewman

Lake LewmanThe community of Lake Lewman is located in Northeastern Kentucky, approximately ten miles north of Morehead, near Cranston, in northern Rowan County. Lake Lewman is a private gated community of both seasonal and permanent residences surrounded by more than 200 acres of private woodlands. These border the northernmost section of the Daniel Boone National Forest. The community has a long-established homeowners association---Lake Lewman Association---that organized in the fall of 1966 and represents approximately 40 homeowners. Its topography is steep slopes, often cone-shaped hills, locally called the Knobs. The Knobs is a physiographic region that borders the Outer Bluegrass area of the state. Many ridge tops are capped by limestone with elevations of 625 to 1435 feet.

Lake LewmanRowan County is considered part of the eastern coalfields. Lake Lewman is a 23-acre lake. Adjacent homes are nestled along a winding gravel road with difficult sharp turns and steep, narrow driveways. Lake Lewman has the benefit of being served by the Route 377 Volunteer Fire Department; it has been very proactive with the Northeast Rowan County Firewise Council. The council was organized in the spring of 2005. Firefighters were trained through the Kentucky Firewise Program to conduct Firewise assessments in the community. Community Firewise workshops were conducted in cooperation with the Kentucky Division of Forestry. Following the assessments, it was determined that Lake Lewman would benefit tremendously from the Firewise Communities/USA program.

Lake LewmanFirefighters with the Route 377 department visited homes and gave homeowners fire safety brochures while conducting surveys. The council has used grant funds to purchase chainsaws, pole saws, as well as a chipper to allow firefighters to reduce fuels along the narrow Lake Lewman access road. The road has only one way in or out and is bordered by hardwood forest. Firefighters have begun fuel reduction operations around homes and roads. The homeowners associations, in cooperation with the fire department, have built turnarounds for emergency vehicles. They hope to install two dry hydrants in locations selected by the fire department. Pre-planning is ongoing with the community. Efforts are currently underway with the U.S.Forest Service to complete GPS mapping of old logging roads around the community that can be improved as fire breaks. The council has purchased metal reflective address signs that will replace or complement wooden signs along Lake Lewman Road.

The Northeast Rowan County Firewise Council has funded a Firewise Mobile Educator Trailer. Local fire departments, working with Firewise council members, will be using the trailer during Firewise events such as school visits and workshops. Arson is the leading cause of forest fires in Kentucky. About 55 to 60 percent of all forest fires in Kentucky are intentionally set. Public awareness through education presented by the Firewise Council can help decrease arson fires.

Lake LewmanThe Route 377 Volunteer Fire knows all too well of the dangers firefighters face protecting home from wildfires. On April 6, 1999 Captain Kenneth Nickell along with Firefighter Kevin Smith was overrun by wildfire and killed while protected homes at the Island Fork Fire. The entrapment site is one mile south of the Lake Lewman community. The preparedness level gained through the Firewise program will increase the margin of safety for firefighters and homeowners. The Firewise Council has also been working with the Route 377 Volunteer Fire Department in promoting the rehabilitation of the Hickory Flats Fire Lookout Tower. The fire tower was once owned by the U.S. Forest Service. The tower fell into private ownership and was donated along with .4 acres of land to the Route 377 Fire Department. The tower is undergoing repairs. The decommissioned CCC-era fire tower will be a unique fire prevention and education tool.