Walton County’s first ever ‘Firewise Community’ plans celebration

Special to The Log

Hidden Dunes ‘Firewise Day’ celebration Oct. 11 schedule of events:

• 10 a.m.: Community center gathering. Hidden Dunes Community Association president will be presented with the official “Firewise” certification plaque by Florida Forest Service and South Walton Fire District personnel.

• 10:30 a.m.: Celebration tour and parade of the Hidden Dunes property showcasing the positive Firewise changes and other aspects involved in the mitigation activity. Tour will end at the Tennis Center with refreshments.

• 12:30 p.m.: Owners/guests first Firewise Golf Event at Kelly Plantation Golf Club; $79 per person. Call Nancy at the association office to reserve your time at 654-1325.

• All day: Firewise Tennis Day. Call the Pro-shop to sign up at 269-2590.

The Florida Forest Service and the South Walton Fire District have announced Walton County’s first-ever official Firewise Community — Hidden Dunes in South Walton County. As part of the community’s obligation in becoming a Firewise community, the Hidden Dunes Community Association will hold its annual “Firewise Day” beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 11 at 9815 U.S. 98 West in Miramar Beach.

Hidden Dunes is a 27-acre residential resort designed, constructed, and landscaped to enhance the natural beauty of the woodland areas and beaches of South Walton County. Taking that into consideration, the goal of the Hidden Dunes Firewise committee is to reduce the fire hazard throughout the property to a “low hazard” status. This is being done by making changes that lead to more effective fire safety. This includes planning and participating in activities that promote an awareness of fire prevention and safety among the property owners and neighboring communities.

The Firewise Communities, USA program is a national, multi-agency effort designed to reach beyond the fire service by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, and others in the effort to protect people, property, and natural resources from the risk of wild land fire before a fire starts. The initiative is directed and sponsored by federal agencies and national organizations that are responsible for wild land fire management in the United States.

What makes a community “Firewise?” Like Hidden Dunes has done, Firewise communities are those that have taken steps to become more resistant to wildfire structural damage. Communities designed from the start or modified later with Firewise concepts help to save lives, protect homes, businesses, and property, and preserve surrounding natural resources.