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Alpine Area Wildfire Protection Coalition recognition for 2021

Chipper day July 9, 2021 in Broken Wheel subdivision. Pictured are Forest Service personnel and several landowners.
Preparedness event at Alpine Fire Station, May 1, 2021. Pictured are a family enjoying the sand table and matchstick demonstration, and forest service personnel.

The Alpine Area Wildfire Protection Coalition (AAWPC) is happy to recognize the hard work of homeowners from Broken Wheel Ranch, Shadow Dancer and Trail Ridge subdivisions who took steps to make their homes more resistant to wildfire and safer for fire crews to defend.

Over the course of 2021, members of these communities spent hours thinning trees and brush near buildings and maintaining a green space adjacent to those buildings during fire season.

“AAWPC is instrumental in garnering community support, as well as equipment, necessary to complete this important work,” said Patty Pringle. “Wildfire prevention activities are crucial to building wildfire resilience in mountain communities, such as Alpine, before an incident occurs.”

During the 2020 and 2021 season, AAWPC sponsored three Chipper Days through a county grant. Landowners cleared trees and brush around their properties and piled the brush near the road. Later, members of the AAWPC from the Alpine Fire Department, Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forest and the Idaho Falls Bureau of Land Management, came through with a county-owned chipper and chipped the cleared material.

The Star Valley High School Future Farmers of America, participating subdivision homeowners, Rusty’s Tree Service, Kearsley’s Nursery, and Lincoln County have all been valuable partners in AAWPC’s efforts to create a FireWise community.

AAWPC also sponsored several other programs over the course of the year including the Wildfire Ambassador Training Program, Wildfire Preparedness Days, Wednesday Fuel Trips, and the development of educational material for suitable FireWise plants and the Ready, Set, Go program.

Members of the Wildfire Ambassadors consist of individuals within a subdivision that serve as liaisons between homeowners and AAWPC to provide information on creating defensible space on private property. Ambassadors receive education from annual trainings on defensible space compliance and fire prevention.

Early in May, AAWPC sponsored Wildfire Preparedness Day at the Alpine Fire Department, where individuals participated in a sand table exercise, saw a matchstick forest experiment and learned about fire resistance communities.

The group also took part in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)Wednesday Fuels Field trips to help evaluate local subdivisions defensibility and ease of evacuation in case of a wildfire.

These efforts improve the community’s chance of wildfire survival through practical actions in risk reduction and emergency preparedness. The Alpine Area Wildfire Protection Coalition formed in 2019 to coordinate community wildfire protection work. A conglomerate of state, federal and private entities work together to identify and reduce significant wildfire threats to homes and human life in the mountains of northwestern Wyoming.
AAWPC offers free home evaluation, and educational activities to prepare the Alpine area for inevitable wildfires. For more information, please contact Patty Pringle, Lincoln County Fuels Mitigation Coordinator, (307)679-8574, ppringle@lcwy.org

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