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Lake Cushman

Lake Cushman, WAThe Lake Cushman Firewise Council, a 501c(3) Non Profit corporation, has had a busy year in 2013. Situated on the Olympic Peninsula in Mason County on Washington’s coast, the community of Lake Cushman is home to roughly 2,300 residents and is the home to numerous outdoor and recreational activities. With 4,000 acres of land including a small state park and campgrounds within its boders, wildfire is a major concern for the residents of this peaceful but active community. To help reduce its risk of damage and loss of life to wildfire, the Council has been hard at work with its list of mitigation activities, including, at the beginning of the year, an event to raise funds for a Community Information LED sign, which would display important information about wildfire or other natural disasters quickly and to large numbers of people at the same time in this rural community.

Other projects included, in April, a "Stump Dump", where community residents could bring any green material for disposal. The project currently burns any yard waste brought to the "Stump Dump" but is hoping to convert the project to a chipping project.

On May 4th and 5th Lake Cushman held the Second Annual Lake Cushman Chipper Day. The event, hosted by the Lake Cushman Firewise Council, invited residents to stack up limbs and branches in front of their property for chipping. Over 50 lots from the prescheduled sign-up list were completed, several of which resulted in chipping piles filling several pick-up loads.

The Lake Cushman Firewise Council also hosted a Firewise Ice Cream social at a local park. The event featured the local fire department with car and brush rig, a DNR crew who provided a "safe home" demonstration, in addition to Firewise info and tips, and a local fire extinguisher company who brought info about both fires and extinguishers.

But even as the year comes to a close, the residents of Lake Cushman are looking forward to 2014 to continue their wildfire safety activities. A few projects they are looking to do includes creating more healthy forests by increasing fuel cleanup work, thinning of green belts, trimming "right of ways" for firebreaks and of course, increasing homeowner involvement in maintaining and preparing their own property against the threat of wildfire.

Lake Cushman is a great example of Firewise principles at work. Congratulations to the community for all of their work to keep their neighborhood safe from wildland fires!