Oklahoma Communities Recognized for Being Firewise

At the recent Governor’s Conference on Wildfire Preparedness in Oklahoma City, four communities were recognized for achieving Firewise/USA status. Governor Mary Fallin opened the conference remarking on the fact that Oklahoma ranks third per capita in the number of Firewise Communities and reinforcinghow critical community action is when it comes to wildfire preparedness.

The communities of Arapaho, Caney, Fairmont and Tannehill are the latest communities to be recognized by the Firewise program and were presented with placards to display showing their participation.

“We commend these communities for completing a wildfire risk assessment and forming a Firewise board,” said Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese as he presented the awards. “They join 46 other Oklahoma communities taking steps to be better prepared for wildfire.”

Firewise communities get organized and work with experts to learn about wildfire and take action to reduce the risk of damage from fire. This nationwide program has a proven track record as enrolled communities take action to reduce their risks from brush, grass and forest fires.

The “Oklahoma 2013 Firewise Community of the Year” was awarded to Daisy, Okla., for their work in assessing structures for potential wildfire hazards and for gathering medical health and concerns of each individual in the residence providing valuable information to first responders assisting with emergency situations and natural disasters when they occur in Daisy.

Cecil Michael and Vicki Eggers were named “Oklahoma 2013 Firewise Facilitators of the Year” for their commitment to saving lives and property from the risk of wildfires and for teaching citizens in north central Oklahoma to work together and to take action to reduce their risk of a catastrophic wildfire.

A special award was presented to Dr. Kelly Hurt of Allen, Okla., for his work as Oklahoma’s Firewise program coordinator.

“Kelly has worked very hard making sure countless Oklahoma communities are better informed of what they can do to better protect themselves in the event of a wildfire, making Oklahoma safer against these devastating events,” said George Geissler, State Forester. “With Kelly’s assistance Oklahoma has become a national leader in developing Firewise/USA communities.”

To learn more about how your community can become Firewise, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/firewise or call 405-522-6158.