Pope County, IL firefighters offer wildfire risk assessment to homeowners

Pope County, IL firefighters offer wildfire risk assessment to homeowners
(Source: Raycom Media)

POPE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Pope County, Illinois firefighters are partnering with Shawnee National Forest to offer a wildfire risk assessment to county homes, thanks to a grant from the local non-profit Shawnee Resource, Conservation & Development Area.

"Our primary goal is to keep Pope County homeowners safe, and we believe the message of preparing early and making their homes safe from wildfire will help us achieve that goal,'' said Josh Light, Captain, Rural Pope County Fire Protection District. "If we identify risks through an assessment, we then want to provide the homeowner with options to reduce that risk. Most times, it's a simple fix like making sure leaves don't accumulate under your home or deck."

In the coming weeks, Pope County firefighters will knock on doors and offer this free service.

Risk assessment allows firefighters to evaluate a home's particular exposure to fire, as well as the critical factors that increase risk.

The risk is determined by how land nearby is being used, what kind of plant life is found near the home and from what materials the home is built.

"Much of Pope County is considered a low to moderate fire hazard environment," said Scott Crist, the Fire Management Officer for Shawnee National Forest. "However, homeowners living in Pope County's fire risk areas should learn how to live more safely with the threat from wildfire. The risk assessment will identify what homeowners can do now – before a wildfire starts."

Homeowners who would like to request a free assessment or more information should contact popecountyfire@yahoo.com.

The Pope Community Wildfire Protection Plan CAN BE DOWNLOADED BY CLICKING HERE.

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