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The Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition Welcomes 123 Program Landowner and New Steering Committee Member Hector Luevano

The Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition is happy to welcome Hector Luevano as the newest member to the steering committee. 

Hector is a firefighter and lives in Leavenworth about 3 miles up the Chumstick and first heard of the CWSC from his neighbor Colin Sternagel. Mr. Luevano is excited to bring his experience as a firefighter and landowner to assist the CWSC, the Chumstick and the Leavenworth community. Hector is also a landowner who is currently participating in the CWSC fuels reduction 123 program. He first heard of the program from his neighbor Colin who was also engaging in the 123 program doing work to make his property safer and more resilient to wildfires. Colin reached out to Hector and Hector began learning about the program from Barbara Carrillo, Director of the CWSC, who provided a fuels reduction assessment of his property around his home and hillside. Colin reached out to Hector because their properties border one another and the common goal of decreasing fire fuel loads on their lands could benefit them both. Hector said, “I think it is extremely valuable for neighbors to come together to do this good work to protect our properties, homes and the benefits the 123 program offers for this type of work is very meaningful to me and my family.” The 123 program is a Washington Department of Natural Resources cost share program that enables qualified landowners to reduce wildfire risk and improve forest health on their properties. On the ground treatments for qualified landowners include small tree thinning and brush removal, pruning and slash disposal. Hector’s fuel reduction and forest health restoration goals for his property include creating an adequate defensible space to protect his home as well as fuels reduction work to expand an existing fire break and allow easy access for working fire crews on his property. He said, “if a fire impacts our valley, I want to be a part of the solution to protect our homes and not a problem that exacerbates and fuels the destruction.”

As the newest steering committee member for the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition, Hector’s primary goal is to protect our valley from wildfires. He grew up in California, which has time and time again been ravaged by massive fires. He knows the wildfire danger in the Chumstick Valley and the greater Leavenworth area is immense and the reality is that wildfires are inevitable. Hector believes that, “Instead of simply prevention, we need to learn how to help the land to be more resilient to wildfire threats.” Hector began attending CWSC steering committee meetings consistently to learn more about what the CWSC is doing in our community to mitigate wildfires. Hector added, “I am happy to be on board for the good work that the CWSC is doing in our community. As the newest member of the group, my personal goals are to continue to learn more and join in with the educational work that CWSC does in the community, especially with young people and students to help shape a future where every single person in the valley is a conscious steward of the land, doing their part to protect our community.”