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Lummi Island Estates

Lummi IslandLummi Island Scenic Estates looks over Bellingham Bay in northwest Washington state. The development lies at the southern end of the island on its eastern side, starting at the shoreline and continuing approximately 600 feet up the side of Lummi Mountain. The area is a haven for many birds on their seasonal migrations, including bald eagles, red tail hawks and hummingbirds. It also is home to and native wildlife like raccoons, squirrels, and many, many deer. The vegetation is dense; tree varieties include Douglas fir, Western red cedar, red alder, big leaf maple and Western hemlock as well as many beautiful native shrubs and ferns. These, of course, produce many ladder fuels. Lummi Island has steep terrain with beautiful views of Bellingham Bay and Mount Baker. The northern end of the island is relatively flat and contains farms and individual homes.

Lummi IslandLummi Island Scenic Estates was platted in the early 1960's with 448 lots covering approximately two square miles. It now has 155 structures (ranging from trailers to large homes) and 50 full-time residents. Some property owners are weekenders and others are absentee owners. One of our long-term goals is to create a seamless balance that incorporates Firewise practices into the beauty that makes our island home special. The dilemma is to how to maintain as much of the natural habitat as we can and at the same time protect our homes from wildfire. We are isolated from the mainland and therefore have greater challenges receiving emergency fire protection.

Lummi IslandEight years ago a wildfire on the backside of the mountain prompted us to begin working with the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A Scenic Estates representative took training and worked with our local volunteer fire department to organize open houses at the fire hall. These were video education evenings for the entire island about home safety and wildfire preparedness. They were open houses that featured Smokey Bear, the safety home information paperwork and videos, and even a dunk tank with local government participation to bring attention to our issues. Six more islanders have attended training workshops presented by the DNR. That agency has done an outstanding job of encouraging island residents to become more Firewise. We hope to develop a better understanding of the concept and involve more Scenic Estate residents as we move toward a safer community and island.

Lummi IslandLummi Island Scenic Estates held a chipper day in 2002 and again in 2004 to correspond with Fire Awareness Week. A work party assisted residents who needed help cleaning up their properties. It was a big success! It took three full chipper days of hard work to clean up all of the debris even with the DNR doing the chipping. The DNR has been a great help in encouraging our community. It is our on going commitment to continue our wildfire mitigation efforts for many years to come.