Jefferson County Community Nationally Recognized for Wildfire Preparedness

The City of Baneberry in Jefferson County, Tenn. has earned Firewise USA recognition from the National Fire Protection Association based on their efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes in their community to wildfire. This community joins 21 others in Tennessee to earn this recognition since the program started in 2002.

In celebration of these accomplishments, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry will host a recognition ceremony on May 3 at 7 p.m. EDT. The ceremony will be held at the Baneberry City Hall, located at 521 Harrison Ferry Road in Baneberry, Tenn.

The Division of Forestry will present the community with a commemorative plaque and Firewise USA street signs. Community leaders, homeowners, representatives from the Baneberry Fire Department and Division of Forestry officials will attend.

“Firewise USA offers a series of practical steps that individuals and communities can take to protect themselves and their property from risk of wildland fire,” State Forester Jere Jeter said. “In becoming Firewise USA recognized, the City of Baneberry has developed a more prepared community through wildfire awareness and risk reduction activities.”

The free and voluntary Firewise USA recognition program allows communities to apply for grants from the Division of Forestry to implement projects specified in their Community Wildfire Protection Plans.

To earn the recognition, the community worked with the Baneberry Fire Department and the Division of Forestry to conduct wildfire hazard assessments and develop a protection plan to address safety concerns. Residents then worked together to implement the plan to reduce fire risk.

“Utilizing only one element of a Firewise program is not enough to protect against the many dangers of wildland fire,” Assistant District Forester Nathan Waters said. “Homeowners maintaining their properties as a block further increases the safety of their neighborhood from wildfire risk.”