Gather round...Be Prepared!
Summer nights bring visions of a campfire’s warm glow, roasting marshmallows and soft strumming guitars. These same campfires can spark raging infernos, horrific devastation and loss in an instant. The Moran State Park expansion project inspired the DRC and the Board to consider in depth the use and potential impact of open flames on our community. The old scout motto “Be Prepared” most certainly applies to fire prevention at Eagle Lake!
The first step in fire prevention was the development of new parameters for the use of open flame fires in the Eagle Lake Community by the DRC. These were approved by the Board. The new fire requirement portions of the Design Guidelines were sent to all ELCA members via email and became effective July 15, 2018.
Consequently, there will be no open flame fires allowed on undeveloped sites. Use of small camp stoves for cooking is allowed but restricted. Developed sites, those with homes, will need to follow the new use guidelines and for use of open flames. All burn bans (state, county, local etc.) will be respected by Eagle Lake residents and guests.
The second prong of our fire prevention strategy involved thirteen members of the Orcas Fire and Rescue team. On the evening of May 17th, the team gathered at the Caretaker Home to drill and practice
Five vehicles took part in the drill that included setting up a temporary tank on Eagle Lake Lane from which a tanker was filled. The pumper supplied water to the truck parked at the house.
The tanker then drove to the dam and was filled with water from the lake. The Orcas Fire and Rescue team was able determine the best methods of getting water to any area on our property while using the lake as the primary water supply.
This is just the first step in getting better fire protection at Eagle Lake. In the coming weeks and months Ben Booth will be discussing with Orcas Island Fire Department officials ways we can better prepare and protect our neighborhood. Ben is confident that these discussions will result in a much better understanding of our fire protection needs and facilitate the creation of a community emergency action plan designed to improve our fire and emergency services in the future.
In the meantime, you need to help by making sure that dead trees and brush are removed from your site and the surrounding area. You should manage the new tree growth by cutting hemlocks and alders as well as removing undesired ladder fuels on and around your site. Unrestricted tree and plant growth is the equivalent of placing a forest of matchsticks around our community just waiting to be ignited. Help us to avoid turning the Orcas Fire and Rescue Team drill practice into real action; follow the lead of the scouts and “Be Prepared.”