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Fawn Hollow Earns National Recognition for Wildfire Preparedness

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 | 01:53pm
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NASHVILLE – The Fawn Hollow community of Townsend, Tenn. has earned Firewise USA® recognition based on its efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire. Fawn Hollow joins 25 other communities in Tennessee to earn this designation since the program started in 2002.

In celebration of this accomplishment, a ceremony will be held on August 3 at 11 a.m. EST at Townsend Fire Station #4, located at 7622 East Lamar Alexander Parkway. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry will present the community with a commemorative plaque and Firewise USA® street signs. In attendance will be community leaders, homeowners, representatives from the Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Department and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Division of Forestry officials.

“The Firewise USA® program’s emphasis on community participation builds on a history of volunteering within the community to keep Fawn Hollow a safe place to live,” said Fawn Hollow Firewise Coordinator Michael Dew. “The Firewise USA® program has provided the framework to develop a more prepared community with wildfire awareness and mitigation activities. The 2016 fires on Chilhowee Mountain and the fires in Sevier County have shown us that there are things we can do for our homes and community to reduce the risk.”

Fawn Hollow completed a Community Wildfire Protection Plan as a requirement to become a nationally recognized Firewise USA® site. That plan allows the community to apply for grants from the Division of Forestry to implement projects specified within it.

To earn the recognition, the community worked with the Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Department, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Division of Forestry to conduct a wildfire hazard assessment and develop a protection plan to address safety concerns. Residents are now working together to implement the plan to reduce fire risk.

“Fawn Hollow is a model regarding the importance of communities taking responsibility to address wildfire safety concerns,” said Assistant District Forester Nathan Waters. “We welcome the opportunity to work with others in the same way.”

The Firewise USA® program is voluntary and information is free. For more information about the Fawn Hollow Firewise USA® ceremony, please contact Nathan Waters at 865-776-2111 and visit www.BurnSafeTN.org.