What is Firewise

With origins dating back twenty-eight years to 1986, the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, property developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks. It brings together physical fire science research and human behavior research so brush fires, grass and forest fires don't have to be disasters. Homeowners can take a series of simple steps to dramatically reduce the risk of dwelling ignition and destruction. Practiced in over 650 communities in 40+ states the Firewise principles and practices work to keep communities safer.

Horseshoe Lake Firewise Community

Originally established in 2006, the Horseshoe Lake Firewise Community was the first community in Alaska to fully adopt the firewise principles and practices to reduce wildfire risk to homes and property. Located just north of Big Lake, covering 2100 acres, portions of the community of homes and recreational cabins were devastated in 1996 by the Miller's Reach fire. Whether energizing the community by coordinating clean-up days, educating how to best mitigate the risk of property damage by wildfire, coordinating community wildfire response and evacuation plans, developing partnerships with local fire departments and government, or sharing the firewise message with surrounding communities, the award winning community is gearing up for another busy year. Please visit the About Us page for more information about our firewise community.

Posted 2014-05-02/News: Annual Firewise Chipping Day and Pizza Party Flotilla

Our 8th Annual Firewise Chipping Day is scheduled for Saturday, June 21st starting at 10am at Kramer's. Followed at 6pm with our 2nd Annual Pizza Party Flotilla on Horseshoe Lake at 6pm. Event details. Similar to previous years, each property is limited to:

  • Pile size of: 20' long by 6' high and 10' wide
  • No trees larger than 3" in diameter
  • No leaves, dirt or stumps
  • Cut ends facing the road neatly

Property owners may place wood debris in the ditch line next to their driveway from now thru June 20th. Chips will be distributed back into the area. Primarily planned for property accessible from Horseshoe Lake Road, please contact Cathi if you have woody debris on any other roads.

Posted 2013-12-02/Event: 2013 Summer Solstice Flotilla (1st Annual)

Here's a few pictures from our 1st Annual Summer Solstice Flotilla. Enjoy!!

Posted 2013-06-28/News: Horseshoe Lake Road Fire

Wednesday morning, June 26th, a brush fire was spotted and stopped thanks to a quick response by the West Lakes Fire Department and Mat-Su Forestry. The fire was just off the road on a snowmachine/ATV trail. A fuel mitigation project (mechanical Hydro-ax job) had been done in that area six years ago so there were no standing spruce.

The fire was contained to about 2/10th of an acre. They suspect the fire was started by an ATV backfiring or a discarded cigarette and could have been smoldering for several days. The warm weather, dry conditions and a breeze ignited the fire into what was spotted by an alert resident.