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From your Firewise Coordinator: Thank You!!!

December 16, 2018

Firewise is a program of the National Fire Protection Association that teaches communities how to minimize the risk of loss to their homes from fire.

Thank you to everyone who sent me the hours and money spent on qualifying activities.

The minimum amount of money spent required for our renewal is $4,635; the minimum amount of hours worked is 192. Thanks to everyone's input, we were able to report $27,277 in money spent—5 times the amount required—and 896 hours worked—almost 5 times that required!!

Way to go Malvern!

I'm going to set up a place on the Malvern website where you can report time and money spent on qualifying activities regularly, so it's not a last minute panic! (We may already have one, in which case your new Firewise coordinator will learn how to use it and tell you all how to use it...)

Do you think that direct contact with flames or radiant heat is the cause of most home loss? Turns out that's FALSE. Embers cause the most home loss. So several ways to avoid this from happening to your home, which are also qualifying activities:

  • Cleaning gutters of material that can catch embers.
  • Installing mesh screening on exterior attic vents.

Other qualifying activities are:

  • Keeping lawn and other grasses cut to 4 inches.
  • Keeping the area under decks clear of debris.

Click here for more information on protecting your home from wildfire

In the next Firewise newsletter I will be describing programs available to us from the National Fire Protection Association through the Firewise Program. Then, I want your input on which you would be interested in. If you have other ideas about things you would like to know more about, let me know that, too. I will also be making a brief presentation at our April membership meeting. Hope to see you all there!!

Susan Korfanty, Malvern Firewise Coordinator — (540) 543-3913

Contact Susan Korfanty for information about this important program: (540) 543-3913

Email the Firewise Coordinator at firewise@malvernofmadison.org

Click for Log Form & Instructions

• Examples of Firewise in-kind projects for Malvern homeowners • Activity log example • Time and activity log form (Microsoft Word document) • Help on using Microsoft Word document

Click for more Firewise Information & Brochures

• Download brochure—"Be Firewise Around Your Home" • Download brochure—"Guide to Firewise Landscaping & Construction" • National Fire Protection Association Newsletter Website • Things to know if you get caught in a wildfire! • What is the Firewise program?

Click for history of Firewise in Malvern

In 2012, Malvern became a "Firewise" Community by participating in the Virginia Department of Forestry's wildfire prevention program. The Department of Forestry conducted a fire hazard/safety evaluation on Malvern. The primary purpose of the evaluation was to determine the level of risk to our homes and residents in the event of forest fire or natural disaster.

The Firewise rating system ranges from low to extreme risk; Malvern received a "Moderate Risk" rating. Individual lots may have higher or lower risk ratings of surviving a wildfire.

There are a number of things that we can do to lower our community wildfire risk. Did you know that open burning is the main cause of wildfire and that you can utilize the Madison Transfer Station during March and October's free drop off for yard debris instead of burning. Here are a few more tips taken from the Firewise.org web site:

•   Clear brush and limb up trees to 15' on the sides of the road to allow unencumbered access for fire trucks.
•   Move your firewood pile out of your home's defensible space (30' around your house).
•   Clean your roof and gutters of leaves and pine needles (best done in October).
•   Trim all tree branches if they overhang your house and from within 20' of all chimneys.
•   Trim all tree branches within the defensible space to 6'.
•   Remove trees along the driveway to make it 12' wide and 15' high.

Thanks to the Firewise program, our community received grants in 2012, 2013, & 2014-2015 to help us reduce our wildfire risk.

Click to watch that fire can happen anywhere—even in Malvern! This short video shows the ease and speed at which a fire started on dry grass and leaves near our playground in 2015. Thankfully there were some observant and fast acting neighbors who stopped this from being a worse situation.