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Sun City and River Place

Sun City, TXWhile firefighting professionals and/or members of related local, state, or federal agencies often introduce Firewise principles into communities, on occasion it is the volunteers who lead the way. Such was the case in the Sun City and River Place communities of Texas.

After a brutal 2011 fire season made worse by severe drought, volunteers in these communities took to educating neighbors about the home ignition zone (HIZ) and advising them on what to do in order to protect their property.

Sun City, TXRiver Place has taken a hands-on approach to preventing fire. In addition to education and mitigation activities, the community held a workshop in mid-September to generate understanding among local homeowners about wildfire safety in relation to efforts to create an effective home ignition zone.

Also hands-on, Sun City has been blessed with many mindful volunteers such as Dan Dodson and Paul Ohlenbush both of whom worked in fire management before serving as Firewise volunteers in retirement. The two advise that Firewise should not be seen as a regulatory tool but as an education program. Ohlenbush says, "Through Firewise we try to improve residents’ understanding of how fires behave and to make mitigation practices approachable."

For more on this story check out the latest issue of the Firewise "How-To" Newsletter.