Mirrormont’s Firewise Program
As wildfires began to be of concern in Western Washington in 2015, the MCA formed a Firewise Committee, which worked with King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks to develop a 51-page Community Wildfire Protection Plan for Mirrormont (click to view), which needs to be updated every five years https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Firewise-USA/Become-a-Firewise-USA-site
We had a smoky taste of wildfire hazards in Western Washington during the summer of 2020, bringing more awareness to our community’s risk. So, in coordination with Chipper Days, the MCA sponsored Matt Axe (Wildfire and Forest Resiliency Coordinator, Certified Wildfire Specialist with King Conservation District) to give a Zoom webinar for Mirrormont in October 2020.
You can view his 36-minute recording “Managing Wildfire Risk to Western Washington Communities” where Matt addresses the wildfire pattern in Western Washington, what to look for when assessing your home and community for wildfire risk, and ways to make your home more wildfire resilient.
Free Voluntary Residential Wildfire Risk Assessments:
Residents can invite Matt Axe to conduct wildfire risk assessments of their property (exterior only). He conducted ten well-received assessments in Mirrormont in 2020. Typically, his assessment consists of a walk around your property where Matt’s observations and recommendations can help you prioritize and address vulnerabilities and decrease the risk of life and/or property during a wildfire incident. He follows up with a helpful ~8-page Home Wildfire Risk Assessment, which outline principles of the Firewise Program and offers great recommendations that are illustrated with photos taken during your walkabout with him.
The MCA encourages you to schedule a wildfire risk assessment for the outside of your property. Contact Matt at: Office (425) 282-1931; Cell (425) 773-5060; or email Matthew.firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Prepare for Chipper Days Scheduled in 2021 for April 26–27 and October 25–26
The overall objective of Chipper Days is to reduce the impact of future wildfires on our community. Mirrormont is an official Firewise Community and the MCA offers Chipper Days annually. Typically, it is on a first-come/first-served basis upon receipt of a $20 co-pay for MCA members to have wood piles chipped. To become an MCA member, see https://mirrormont.org/shop/ Residents are usually notified about a month prior to the scheduled event to give sufficient time to prepare. More details about preparing for the event will be emailed to you at that time.
To Be Eligible: You must be up to date with your MCA dues. If you have any questions about your membership status, email email@example.com.
You must have an easily visible street address sign by the side of your driveway (a reflective, two-sided MCA-sponsored signpost — or your own sign). For info on MCA-sponsored signposts, see https://mirrormont.org/address-signposts-help-others-find-us/
Registration and co-pay are required once the event is announced. To make the project manageable and within MCA resources, we need to limit the number of participants to a maximum of 50 and limit the size of piles. Your $20 co‑pay and MCA dues cover chipping of a single pile of branches. Participants may have a second pile; however, they would need to submit an additional $20 co-pay. This is at least a $225 value.
Firewise your property: Clear dead brush and dry branches from the forest floor. Prune shrubs and limb-up trees to remove ladder fuels and dead material. Prune trees 6’—10’ from ground (but leave at least ½ the tree with live limbs). Pruning of trees and shrubs creates mini fuel breaks. See King County Firewise Brochure and the Resources listed below.
Prepare your pile of branches
Stack branches by the side of a Mirrormont road with the cut (fattest) ends facing in one direction.
Piles can be up to 4-ft. high x 8-ft. wide (cut ends out) x 10-ft. deep. Branches must be less than 10-ft. long and less than 6” in diameter. No rope, nails, metal, rocks, plastic, or lumber.
The weekend prior to the event, the MCA will email a ‘Flow Number-House Number’ for you to print out and post on your pile.
Report hours worked to firstname.lastname@example.org
Report number of hours worked trimming, cleaning-up, and moving your piles to the roadway. Our continued designation as a Firewise community and eligibility for grants is based in part on volunteer hours that go toward making our community “Firewise” and safer. This is important!
Resources: The following links provide helpful information on pruning, tree maintenance, and fire-resistant landscaping:
Plant Amnesty at http://www.plantamnesty.org There are YouTube pruning videos under Education. Provides a referral service for arborists under Services.
Wildlife snags: Those not-so-attractive looking trees in your yard may actually look extremely attractive to our wildlife neighbors. Yep! Unless a safety hazard, standing dead or dying trees are called “snags” and they provide extremely important habitat for more than 100 species of birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians in Washington state. In fact, standing dead trees are often called “wildlife trees” because animals such as northern flickers, brown creepers, bats, and squirrels use them for nesting, roosting, shelter, storage, denning and foraging/feeding. https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/snags/
For more on Firewise, see http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/water-and-land/forestry/forestfire.aspx
Fire-resistant Landscape Plants for the Puget Sound Basin
Fire-resistant Plants for Home Landscapes https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/pnw590.pdf
Chilling Ember Storm Test by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s Research Center https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvbNOPSYyss
Questions? Email email@example.com