The English Mountain Community in Sevier County, Tenn. has earned Firewise Communities/USA® recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program based on its efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire. English Mountain is only the 15th community in Tennessee to earn this designation since the program was started in 2002.
A ceremony was held June 25, 2016 at the English Mountain Volunteer Fire Department. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry presented the community with a commemorative plaque and Firewise Community signs. Community leaders, homeowners, fire department members, and forestry officials attended.
Following the recognition ceremony, the community honored local fire fighters who helped protect homes during the wildfire that burned hundreds of acres this past spring.
“Getting involved in the Firewise Program was the best thing that has happened to the community in respect to wildfire safety,” English Mountain Firewise Chairperson Cindy Mitchell said. “We have experienced two serious wildfires within the past few years. We have learned that wildfire does happen here and that there are simple things that we can do to minimize the risk.”
The community worked with the English Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, East Sevier County Utility District and the TDF to develop a community protection plan. “The English Mountain Community is a model in recognizing the importance of communities taking responsibility to address wildfire safety concerns,” TDF Fire Management Unit Leader John Kirksey said. “We welcome to the opportunity to work with others in the same way.”