Starlite Place has become the latest neighborhood in Grants Pass to achieve Firewise Communities / USA recognition from the National Fire Prevention Association. Starlite Place is especially vulnerable to wildfire because it's located on a steep ridge top surrounded by large tracts of vacant land.
Starlite Place is located in the northeast section of Grants Pass. It comprises 38.49 acres and includes 53 homes on 71 parcels. The neighborhood is bordered by forested undeveloped privately owned land to the east and west, vacant forested City property to the south, and developed subdivisions to the north. The majority of homes on Starlite Place are ridge top with slopes exceeding 50%.
Community members met in the summer of 2015 and formed a committee to initiate the Firewise process. A community assessment was conducted on July 14th, 2015 to identify wildfire threats. The assessment team included Brian Ballou – Wildland-Urban Interface Specialist from the Oregon Department of Forestry, Bob Schumacher - Grants Pass Fire/Rescue Firewise Coordinator, Randy DeLonge - Grants Pass Fire Battalion Chief, and Roy Lindsay - member of the Grants Pass City Council. The completed assessment was presented to the Firewise committee who reviewed the assessment and then created a Firewise action plan. Read the Starlite Place Community Assessment (PDF).
Several major wildfire fuel reduction projects were completed on properties adjacent to Starlite Place. Funding was secured through several grant sources to treat over 50 acres of dense dry vegetation. All areas treated were downslope from the community.
For their Firewise day activity, the residents of Starlite Place conducted self-evaluations of their homes. They then met on October 15th to review the assessments as a group.