The residents of Mullins Cove in Marion County have just one way into their community and one way out. Because they live in such a remote area, wildfires are always a risk. However, by preparing for future wildfire threats, these community members have learned how to best safeguard their home and earned Firewise USA recognition.
A ceremony to celebrate earning this recognition will be held on Dec. 13 at 1:30 p.m. CST at the Kelly’s Ferry Community Church located at 11612 Mullins Cove Road in Whitwell.
Firewise USA empowers neighbors, municipal leaders, and other partners to work together in an effort to reduce the risk of wildfire within their communities. The program has been nationally recognized since 2002, and there are more than 1,400 Firewise sites located across the U.S.
The Mullins Cove community has 22 miles of heavily forested area and narrow roads, which are often only wide enough for one vehicle. Working with the Mullins Cove Volunteer Fire Department and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, the community completed wildfire hazard assessments. They also developed a Community Wildfire Protection Plan identifying wildfire hazards and actions to reduce wildfire risk.
“Wildland fires can have serious effects on natural resources, property, and safety in any area of Tennessee,” Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “Through Firewise USA recognition, the Mullins Cove community has proven they understand that they are the first line of defense to protecting their homes from wildfire by taking proactive, preventative measures.”
The Division of Forestry will present the community with a commemorative plaque and Firewise USA street signs. Community leaders, homeowners, representatives from the Mullins Cove Fire Department, and Division of Forestry officials will attend.
“With only one way in and one way out, it was vital to develop an evacuation plan should residents find themselves surrounded by fire,” Lt. Robert Payne of the Mullins Cove Volunteer Fire Department said. “Equally important, the Firewise Committee found a need to improve communication with residents in the event of a wildfire.”