Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D

Making things happen for Northeast Georgia

The Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program is a process that empowers neighbors to work together in reducing their wildfire risk.


About the Firewise Communities Program

Brush, grass and forest fires don’t have to be disasters. NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire. Firewise is a key component of Fire Adapted Communities – a collaborative approach that connects all those who play a role in wildfire education, planning and action with comprehensive resources to help reduce risk.

The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.

To save lives and property from wildfire, NFPA’s Firewise Communities program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses. We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other from the risk of wildfire.


Firewise tips checklist for Homeowners


  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove dead vegetation from under your deck and within 10 feet of the house.
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel
  • Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
  • Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
  • Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screen with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.

The Five Steps of Firewise Recognition


  1. Obtain a Wildfire risk assessment as a written document from your state forestry agency or fire department.
  2. Form a board or committee, and create an action plan based on the assessment.
  3. Conduct a “Firewise Day” Event.
  4. Invest a minimum of $2 per capita in local Firewise Actions for the year.
  5. Submit an application to your state Firewise liaison.


Close does not count with wildfires!


Firewise Communities USA/Recognition Program – National wildfire education program sponsored by National Fire Prevention Association

USDA Forest Service 2015 Robert E. Browning, Jr. Award Winner

Mr. Tony Harkins


Tony Harkins received a prestigious fire prevention award from the Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service yesterday. Mike Davis, Forest Fire Management Officer, USDA Forest Service, presented Mr. Harkins with a 2015 Robert E. Browning, Jr. award for outstanding efforts in the area of forest fire prevention. Tony received one of four for the year 2015.

Robert E. Browning, Jr. was a firefighter from North Carolina who died in the line of duty on the South Canyon Fire in Colorado in 1994. This young man was also known for his fire prevention efforts. Tony had actually met him back when he worked with the US Forest Service here making this recognition even more meaningful. His Supervisor and Mike Davis were able to craft a nomination together last year to help recognize his passion and the tireless efforts he always puts forward to his communities. Demonstrated by this public servant every day.

Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D Council

Making Things Happen For North Georgia Is What We Do


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