After a successful 2018 Firewise year, we are ready to start anew in 2019. Last year was very productive for the committee, as the cleaning and clearing mission has been completed for those areas identified in the spring working/planning sessions.  

A significant part of last year’s work was the area north of our pool and now often referred to as our “Enchanted Forest.” The area was cleared by the Forest Service, which saved us thousands of dollars. In December, the mission for that location was completed with the planting of 20 understory trees and the installation of an irrigation system that will assist in keeping those trees alive during the drier months that are yet to come. A significant portion of the tree-planting cost was covered by fundraising events and donations from residents, some of which were to commemorate loved ones.

Our upcoming January 9 Firewise meeting will focus on work plans for this year and how best to maintain our community to meet the established Firewise standards. Some areas will require more attention than others.

A larger point of discussion in January will center on the topic of how we maintain our Firewise objectives and yet preserve a significant portion of our forest – a “Firewise Forest” or a “Texas Thicket.” This issue is timely considering the recent destructive California fires that to some extent were caused by heavy underbrush that had built up over the years, as well as years of drought and the high Santa Ana winds. Closer to home was the 2011 Bastrop fire that destroyed nearly 1,700 homes and was also caused by uncontrolled underbrush, high winds, and severe droughts. Unfortunately, only one of those factors is somewhat under our control and needs to be a focal point for us in the future.

All residents are welcome to attend the January 9 Firewise meeting, which will begin at 1:30 PM at the Clubhouse.