Gayle Rich-Boxman, Broker Vernonia Realty
Firewise Committee Member
Being a man made private lake Fishhawk Lake Reserve and Community, tucked in the basin of the coastal range surrounded by forests and forests and trees and trees, well you get the picture…we can be looking at potential wildfires wreaking havoc in our small community.
So a small group of us volunteered to be a Firewise Committee and clean up our area in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Forestry. This was decided last fall and on a boggy nasty wet weekend, we grabbed our mukluks, rain gear and gloves, along with equipment of various types to tackle pruning, cutting and ridding ourselves of hazardous materials that could fuel a wildfire. All in all about 40 of us showed up that weekend. I dragged my husband out of our perfectly warm and dry home to slog around the lake with me for several hours getting bedraggled as the hours went on. Being fearless, I scooted up the steepest slopes pulling scads of scotchbroom a virulent weed, and shot them down to the fellas below. Whew, what a work out we all had! The homeowners really got behind this and cut large limbs and there were gobs of piles to be chipped by the chipping crew who were paid by grant money offered up by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
As a result, this January, we were given a plaque and signs to let the world know that we are the first Firewise Community in Northwest Oregon and one of only eight other communities in the whole state to have that accredidation. It was presented by Kevin Nelson of the Oregon Department of Forestry and Fire Chief Dave Crawford of the Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District.
As my granny used to say “We are quietly proud”.