On November 15, 2019, Emigration Township filed its annual application to be certified a Firewise Community in Good Standing for another 12 months, a status we’ve maintained for 18 years. As many of you know, this requires us to demonstrate our ongoing commitment by investing a minimum of one hour per household in volunteer labor or community spending on wildfire safety and preparedness.  Based on the most recent census (2010) of canyon households (589) and the current Firewise cost basis (one volunteer hour valued at $25.43 per residential unit), our required investment for 2019 was $14,978.27.

Our completed application listed $44,015.16 in total time and spending, three times the required minimum. This included 514 hours of resident labor around the spring chipper event, a further 455 hours in other home and neighborhood fuel reduction activities, and 173 volunteer hours of administrative and event coordination activity. The Emigration Oaks HOA spent $13,374 on contractor services for common area thinning and roadside weed clearance, and we claimed $2,500 for roadside clearing along the Killyon’s Canyon Road—performed by the Municipal Services District on behalf of the Emigration Metro Township Council.

Our recert application was quickly approved, extending the township’s Firewise membership through November 2020. As a community, we’ve made ourselves a little bit safer from the persistent threat of wildfire destruction, and fulfilled our requirement for earning state financial support for wildland firefighting within Emigration Canyon.  Thanks to all of you who made the effort to track and share your time and spending.

Of course the work of wildfire preparedness and risk reduction never ends, and winter months are the natural time for planning and preparation. As each canyon household considers how it might reduce its wildfire risk, an excellent starting place is the list of Firewise-approved Time and Expense Examples.

The list includes ideas for both homeowners and municipal officials. Fuel reduction activities figure prominently, but they’re only the beginning.  Dozens of other residential improvements are approved for Firewise investment credit, including:

  • Installing a chimney-top spark arrestor
  • Retrofitting soffited eaves with open construction
  • Replacing vinyl gutters with metal
  • Weather-stripping garage doors to keep embers out
  • Replacing combustible mulch materials with stone or gravel
  • Contractor expense for upgrading the home exterior with ignition-resistant materials

Read the full list at this link. Consider your full range of options for making your home safer next fire season. And please remember to report your Firewise-approved volunteer activities and expenditures for inclusion in next year’s recertification request. A quick email to firewise84108@gmail.com is all it takes.