I am the Chairperson for the Long Branch Lakes Firewise Community Committee in Spencer, TN. Long Branch Lakes (LBL) is a gated community, located in Middle Tennessee between Crossville and Chattanooga. The community includes 5,000± acres of wooded and lakefront home sites, miles of creeks and streams right next door to the 7,000 acre Bledsoe State Forest and the 22,000 wilderness acres of Fall Creek Falls State Park. In the Summer of 2012 the LBL community residents met with Leon Konz, the area Firewise Communities/USA representative to learn about the Firewise program. Shortly after this meeting our Long Branch Lakes Firewise Committee was created. The committee’s goal was to establish Long Branch Lakes as a Firewise Community and address issues relating to high woodland fire hazard risks in the community and its surrounding area. The Committee developed an Action Plan which included: Completion of Home Assessments, development of a Firewise Library, placement of reflective home number signs.
The Committee completed a community wildfire protection plan and on June 12, 2013 Long Branch Lakes (LBL) community earned national Firewise Community USA status from the Firewise Communities Program, administered by the National Fire Protection Association.