Walla Walla County residents at wildfire risk eligible for free mitigation project

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Federal grants will help fund a wildfire mitigation project in a specifically endangered range of the Northern Blue Mountain foothills where private property and forested landscape have been deemed at risk.

Walla Walla County Emergency Management announced on June 23 that the County entered a $45,750 grant agreement with the Washington State Military Department and FEMA. They will team with Walla Walla County Fire District No. 4 to reduce fire risk within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

Walla Walla

Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) for Walla Walla County

Part of the project will consist of landscaping to eliminate fuel that could endanger structures and populated areas in the event of a wildfire.  Inspectors from Fire District No. 4 would survey structures and property belonging to eligible participants.

Following their analysis, inspectors would offer a treatment prescription that would guide a work crew to perform labor. This includes the removal of dead vegetation, brushing of trees and chipping of debris.

While the cost of initial maintenance is free for eligible participants, they will be asked to sustain that work through wildfire season.

If you live in the WUI region and wish to participate in the mitigation project, you can contact Phil Tonn at County Fire District No. 4 at 509-529-1282.

There are two upcoming FireWise workshops where experts will speak on the grants in detail. The first is on June 27 at 6:30 p.m. at County Fire District No. 4 (6549 Mill Creek Rd). The following evening will be held at Walla Walla County Fire District No. 8 (10145 E. Hwy. 12) on June 28. It begins at 6:00 p.m. and will run for one hour.

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