Lost Creek Receives Designation as a Firewise Community

The Lost Creek Municipal Utility District was recently notified by the Texas A&M Forest Service that it has received recognition as a Texas Firewise Community. Through cooperation between the National Fire Protection Association and Texas Wildland Urban Interface, the Firewise Communities Program supports and empowers the citizens of Texas in their efforts to protect lives, homes, communities and related natural resources from wildfire.

Receiving the Firewise Community designation took several years’ effort and coordination with area fire officials and Lost Creek residents to develop a plan and provide information on how to protect property from wildfire. The program includes an outreach program informing residents to remove underbrush and trim trees away from structures, adopting trail standards for raising the canopy to remove ladder fuel at trailheads and along greenbelt trails and extending trails to act as a fire break in the event of wildfire. The Texas Firewise Communities liaison who is a specialist in wildfire mitigation toured the greenbelts and provided input into the program. The Lost Creek MUD Board appointed a Firewise Committee consisting of Directors Preston Doege and Gary Sertich who initiated the program. Current committee members are Directors Sertich and Leah Stewart.

In addition to advising residents, the program includes two free chipper service days a year sponsored by the Lost Creek MUD to allow for removal of brush by homeowners, trail projects coordinated with Eagle Scouts and scout troops and proactively removing brush and dead trees from the greenbelts. Over 250 cubic yards of chipped brush is removed annually by local residents from their properties and from the greenbelts by the District. The unchipped brush removed annually would cover an NBA basketball court approximately 27 feet deep. The District has spent approximately $38 per capita per year over the last several years for its Firewise projects.

President Gary Sertich states, “It is a well-deserved recognition for the entire community and its efforts over the years in reducing the fuel load on our properties and common greenbelts. Following the principles established by this program helps make the entire area safer from the devastating effects of a wildfire. This will remain an ongoing effort since the fuels are constantly replenished.”

posted: Monday, April 7, 2014