by Carolina King
West Region Wildfire Council’s three-person team performed 241 site visits to homes and forest service land across the region in 2018, to advise on wildfire mitigation. At the council’s bimonthly meeting on Feb. 14 the team reviewed its 2018 accomplishments, including 59 completed projects on a total of 540 acres, which benefited 319 homes. There were also 235 participants in the chipping program resulting in 144,900 cubic feet of slash being chipped.
Fire officials, forest service members and interested citizens attended the meeting.
“For every dollar spent on hazard mitigation six dollars are saved in future disaster cost,” Lilia Falk, executive director of WRWC, said, basing her statement on “the natural hazard mitigation saves 2017 interim report.” Using that math she asserted that in 2018 WRWC has brought about “$3.3 million in estimated savings in future disaster costs” and “roughly $10 million” since 2010.
Falk also noted other 2018 achievements, including the council completing steps to become a non-profit organization and transitioning from a steering committee to a board of directors. She also gave a financial summary and discussed future plans, including adding another staff member to the current three-member team composed of Falk, Assistant Director Jamie Gomez and Courtney Haynes.
WRWC is primarily grant-funded. Last year funding came mostly through...