NORTH FORK – Residents in the community of Cascadel Woods and Cascadel Heights are taking fire preparedness very seriously.
Having been evacuated three times in the last three years when wildfire threatened, and with only one viable route leading down from mountain homes, more than a dozen residents armed themselves with weed whackers over the weekend and removed the fuel along their access route.
This is the third year for this event where volunteers from the Heights and the Woods removed the vegetation along Road 233. Still fresh in their minds are the Willow Fire in August of 2015, the Fork Fire in July of 2016, and the Mission Fire in September of 2017 – all forcing them from their homes for days on end. The Mission Fire destroyed three homes in the Heights before firefighters could stop the destruction.
This year’s efforts began at 7 a.m. on Saturday and ended around noon. A total of fourteen people manned weed eaters and one resident from Road 233 brought everyone apples and power bars for much-needed nourishment. One worker even brought a cold watermelon to share.
Four people started working at Peckinpah Acres Drive and worked their way up to the Horseshoe Curve (switchback). This crew gathered four plastic bags of trash from along the roadside as well as removing many bushes encroaching into the road.
The remaining crews worked down 233 from the Arches of Cascadel. They were not able to clear all the easements on Saturday, so Erick Tooms, Simon Elman and Carol Eggink put in three more hours on Sunday to complete the job.
“Honestly, we all feel the efforts of both our excellent first responders and of the determined residents these past few years are what helped to save the majority of the homes from wildfires,” says Carol Eggink. “With the history of evacuations, many residents are getting into the proactive fire preparedness frame of mind.”
The hard-working crew on this project included Jim and Kitty Williams, Kathy and Eric Tooms, Sandy Chaille, Jeff Bouche, Steve Nay, Simon Elman, Susie Odry, Steve Norwood, Paul Lichti, Ken Trapp, and Stan and Carol Eggink – and Mary Basye who brought the refreshments.
Everything you need to know about preparing your home and your community for wildfire is available on the Cal Fire website http://www.readyforwildfire.org and the National Fire Protection Association website https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Firewise-USA.
To learn how Cascadel became a Firewise Community and survived the Mission Fire, click here.
(Photos courtesy of Ken Trapp and Carol Eggink)