Loma Linda recognized as a Firewise Community/USA

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Photo courtesy Bill Trimarco Peggy Beach (on the left) accepts the Firewise Community/USA recognition sign from District Forester Kent Grant.
Photo courtesy Bill Trimarco
Peggy Beach (on the left) accepts the Firewise Community/USA recognition sign from District Forester Kent Grant.

By Bill Trimarco
Special to The SUN

On Sunday, Dec. 7, the Loma Linda subdivision was presented with its formal recognition as a Firewise Community/USA. Kent Grant, district forester for the Colorado State Forest Service, presented the award to the homeowners association board and to Peggy Beach, the resident who spearheaded efforts in the community.

The Firewise Community/USA Recognition Program is a process that empowers neighbors to work together in reducing their wildfire risk. There are over 1,000 communities recognized nationwide. One hundred are in Colorado, making it a national leader. There are five steps required to obtain recognition:

1. Obtain a wildfire risk assessment as a written document from your state forestry agency or fire department.

2. Form a board or committee and create an action plan based on the assessment.

3. Conduct a “Firewise Day” event.

4. Invest a minimum of $2 per capita in local Firewise actions for the year.

5. Submit an application to your state Firewise liaison.

Loma Linda resident Peggy Beach is a volunteer ambassador with FireWise of Southwest Colorado and she organized efforts in the subdivision. Residents participated in chipping days over the past two years and also created a committee to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for Loma Linda.

The CWPP is currently in the final stages and awaiting approval from state and local agencies. The homeowners association board of directors also pledged funds to match a state grant that enabled mitigation work to be performed in a high priority area that was identified in the assessment.

This award recognizes the commitment that Loma Linda residents have made to protect their community from the potentially devastating affects of wildfire.

Loma Linda is the second subdivision in Archuleta County to receive this recognition. Echo Canyon Ranch received recognition in the spring of 2014.