Wildfire Protection Plan

The Maine Forest Service and Auburn Fire Department prepared a comprehensive Wildfire Protection Plan for Taylor Pond.  The complete report can be found at this link.  The executive summary can be found below:

Executive Summary of the 2018 Community Wildfire Protection Plan

The goal of the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) assessment program is to evaluate a community for hazards in the event of a wildfire in the wildland urban interface (the area where homes intermingle with wildland vegetation).  The assessment also identifies the means by which any hazards found can be mitigated. The objective is to minimize the ability of fire to move between wildland and structures, thereby reducing the threat to life and property.

In 2010 the Maine Forest Service recorded 562 wildland fires, although the actual number of wildland fires could be higher.  Nearly 75% of these fires in 2010 destroyed, damaged, or threatened structures.

During the five year period between 2006 and 2010  the Maine Forest Service recorded 1,235 wildland fires in the Southern District (which encompasses Auburn ME) burning an estimated total area of 1,043.41 acres.  Examples of historic wildfire suppression costs in Maine communities include: Allagash (1992, $522,855.96); Garfield Plt (1991, $305,593.83); Baileyville (1998, $286,668.43); Freeport (1991, $271,035.00); Dixfield (2002, $90,338.59); Milo (2002, $76,795.21); Bucksport (2001, $68,650.00); Northport (2001, $67,957.80); and Centerville (2006, $35,703.14).

During the assessment, 20 structural and 4 vegetative sites were evaluated within the wildland urban interface area.  The assessment focused on such issues as building materials, defensible space, access, road signage, and water availability.  Methodology and detailed results of the assessment are found in the main body of this report. Overall, the structures assessed within Taylor Pond had an average score that falls into the ‘moderate’ risk category with some high and some low risk.

Inadequate defensible space and flammable vegetation inside defensible space are the greatest source of Taylor Pond’s elevated risk.  Factors including low water availability, quality of access roads, and signage contribute to this risk.  This report contains recommendations to rectify the identified issues, along with suggestions for building materials, low-flammable plants, and guidelines for the safe placement of firewood and fuel storage tanks for existing and development areas.

The factors contributing to increased fire risk in the wildland urban interface found within Taylor Pond area can be lessened by following the strategies outlined in this report, “decreasing the risk of catastrophic fire and loss of life and property.”

To see the complete report go to this link.