An application submitted by the Inverness Foundation for Inverness to become a Fire Wise Community has been accepted. The purpose of being a Fire Wise Community is to work with residents and businesses to be prepared for both residential and vegetation fires, which we know is a possibility in a wooded area like ours. Fires have occurred in or near Inverness during the last few years. Climate change, accompanied by drought, high temperatures, higher winds, and the increased likelihood of dry lightning (the cause of the Woodward Fire in 2020), is a reality. In response, many Inverness property owners have greatly increased their defensible space. We want everyone to join in this effort.
As a Fire Wise Community, Inverness will be joining with more than 70 other communities in Marin County. Marin has more Fire Wise Communities than any other county in California. Fire Wise Communities rely on volunteers to help educate their neighbors about such important issues as evacuation during a fire, how to develop defensible space around your home, ways to make your house more fireproof, and making your home more recognizable to firefighters and other emergency responders.
The Inverness Public Utility District is happy to partner with Fire Wise Inverness to send out communications about the Fire Wise Program, planned projects, and useful resources for you. The first project will be to increase the visibility of all Inverness residential homes with reflective street address numbers on their houses, so firefighters, emergency responders, and local Disaster Council volunteers can find you quickly. If you don’t have reflective numbers on your property that are easy to read from the street, IPUD will provide links on its website under Fire Wise Inverness to a few suppliers of legally compliant house number signs. You can then mount them on an existing post, sign, building, or a tree.
There are tremendous educational resources provided by Fire Safe Marin, which is the organization that coordinates Marin Fire Wise Communities. Click on the link to look at their website: www.firesafemarin.org. It is filled with fascinating and useful videos, online brochures, hints about safe and unsafe vegetation, and much more.
As the Inverness Foundation renews our Fire Wise Inverness membership annually, it must document any work that Inverness property owners have completed to make the community more fire safe. Please keep track of the hours and expenses you spend in 2022 on fire risk reduction on your property. It will help the Inverness Foundation document our community’s effort to reduce fire danger.
Fire Wise Inverness is also looking for volunteers to work with your neighbors in achieving defensible space. During the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority’s defensible space inspections conducted by the Marin County Fire Department earlier this year, more than 80% of the inspected Inverness properties were not fully compliant with defensible space requirements. In many cases, a relatively small amount of work would allow properties to come into compliance.
If you have questions about the Fire Wise program, or if would like to volunteer, please contact Inverness Foundation Director Jerry Meral at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for making Inverness more fire resilient!