Since we are in a high fire danger rural interface, defensible space around homes is crucial. Many elderly in our community cannot physically clear their own defensible space or afford to pay to have it done. Chicago Park 4-H Club members cleaned vegetation and debris to make defensible space around the home of a senior citizen. They worked in partnership with the Nevada County Fire Safe Council, who arranged the date, assessed and prioritized the most critical areas to make fire safe. In addition, the club joined in the Scotch Bloom Challenge by correctly removing scotch broom which is a tremendous fire danger. Video was taken of the activities which was edited into an educational video for the Fire Safe Council website.
How has 4-H helped?
Our 4-H Club helped a low-income senior create defensible space around her home. We completed the work by weedeating grasses, removing dry leaves and dead wood around her house and thinned trees that had become overcrowded. This clearing is required under State law as defensible space for wildfires. We had a local film producer video the work and then create a how-to video to help educate other people on how to make their home safer from wildfire.
We hope other 4-H clubs will get involved to help low-income seniors/disabled in their community and make all of California Fire Safe.
The video was posted on our Facebook page and the link was emailed to the FSCNC i-contact database consisting of 1,500 people in Nevada County. It will continue to be promoted throughout the year in publications such as the annual “Prepare for Fire Season Guide” published each June. The Guide is distributed by The Union newspaper headquartered in Grass Valley, California (distribution of 25,000 people). The guide is also distributed through City and County offices as well as local fire stations to educate the public. We hope other 4-H clubs will get involved to help low-income seniors/disabled in their community and make all of California Fire Safe.