South Carolina Forestry Commission
News Release

November 15, 2004


(Columbia, SC) - A Lakelands development has received national recognition for it’s efforts to protect homes from forest fire. Savannah Lakes Village was recently named South Carolina’s first Firewise Community, USA.

The recognition puts Savannah Lakes in elite company. Nationwide, fewer than 100 communities have been awarded Firewise status.

The national Firewise Community program focuses on protecting homes from forest fire. Forestry Commission records show about 40 South Carolina homes lost to wildfire each year and the numbers are steadily growing.

Achieving Firewise recognition requires serious commitment, says Calvin Bailey of the SC Forestry Commission. Bailey, the state’s Firewise Coordinator, said qualifying communities must develop and implement a forest fire protection plan, conduct a community-wide fire prevention event, and invest $2.00 per capita annually for forest fire protection.

Phillip Gates of the Savannah Lakes Property Owners Association said the community started working on the project in June, completing a comprehensive wildfire risk assessment. “We examined the entire 4,000 acre community, identified risks, and came up with a practical protection plan,” said Gates.

Savannah Lakes Village consists of about 750 homes in six neighborhoods along the shores of Strom Thurmond Reservoir.


For more information, contact: Ken Cabe, 803-896-8820.

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