Firewise Communities Get Boost From Forest Fire Service 

Aug 09, 2017

Five Barnegat Township communities that have received Firewise designations from the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service will equally share in a $1,000 grant recently received by the township. Representatives from the communities – Horizons at Barnegat, Four Seasons at Mirage, Brighton at Barnegat, Pinewood Estates and Pheasant Run – each received $200 checks from Deputy Mayor Frank Caputo at the Aug. 1 township committee meeting.  

To earn a Firewise designation, the communities used a five-step process that includes developing a wildfire action plan to guide their residential risk-reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging homeowners to become active participants in building a safer place to live. Common activities are erecting fuel breaks – gaps in vegetation that act as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a wildfire – and also clearing out underbrush and dead or diseased trees that can quickly catch fire.

“Barnegat was recognized for its efforts in maintaining the forest fire service’s goal to protect the people and property of New Jersey from the effects of catastrophic wildfires through education, awareness, education and action,” Caputo said.

He said Pinewood and Brighton would officially receive their Firewise designation at the next meeting of the Barnegat Fire Safety Council, on Thursday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m.

“The communities can use the money as they see fit,” said Caputo, who is township committee liaison to the council.

Michelle Woodruff, president of the Manufactured Homeowners Association at Brighton, said the money could be used for printing educational materials to make available for residents.

“In May, we held a special Firewise Day event to inform people that we are at risk again due to 10 years of forest growth since the big wildfire in May 2007 that destroyed and damaged some of our homes,” Woodruff said. “We could use some of the money for our Firewise day next year.” E.E.

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