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A successful 2023 town hall meeting on wildfire prevention

On May 25th, 2023, the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition hosted a town hall meeting to inform and educate the public about the wildfire risk and mitigation strategies for the Leavenworth area. The event was well-attended by residents, community leaders and fire experts.

The keynote speaker was Risk Stratton, a fire analyst for the US Forest Service, who presented his findings from a comprehensive wildfire risk assessment for the Leavenworth area. He explained how climate change, vegetation, topography and human activities affect the likelihood and severity of wildfires. He also shared some practical tips on how to reduce the vulnerability of homes and properties to fire damage.

The town hall meeting also featured a moderated panel discussion with representatives from various agencies and organizations involved in wildfire management and prevention. The panelists were Nolan Brewer from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Patrick Haggerty from Cascadia Conservation District, Kelley O’Brien from Leavenworth Fire District 3 and Michael Barajas from the US Forest Service. They answered questions from the audience and provided insights on the current and future wildfire challenges and opportunities in our region.

In addition to the presentations and panel discussion, the town hall meeting also offered informational booths where attendees could learn more about the services and resources available to help them prepare for and respond to wildfires. The booths were staffed by experts from Chelan County PUD, Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue, US Forest Service, Winton Manufacturing, WA Department of Natural Resources, Cascadia Conservation District Prescribed Fire Association, Leavenworth Fire District 3 and Cascade Medical Center.

The town hall meeting was a great success thanks to the participation and support of our community members and partners. We would like to thank our elected officials who attended the event: Chelan County Commissioner Smith, Leavenworth Mayor Carl Florea and City Councilmember Waters and former County Commissioner Bob Bugert. We would also like to thank our sponsors who made this event possible: Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition, Chelan County Fire District 3, Cascadia Conservation District, US Forest Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources.

We hope that this town hall meeting helped raise awareness and understanding of the wildfire risk and resilience in our area. We encourage everyone to take action to protect themselves, their neighbors and their environment from wildfires. Together, we can make our community safer and more resilient.