Master Gardener℠ Program – Firewise

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Firewise Information for Homeowners – a talk by Wesley Sketo
With the high rainfall totals that we get in this area, we don’t always think about wildfires being an issue. But in the fall of 2016, there were a number of large fires in this region that burned structures and caused evacuations. Just this April a wildfire in Pisgah Forest came close to Pisgah Inn. The prevention and management of wildfires should not be far from our minds. Wesley Sketo will be the featured speaker at this upcoming talk on wildfires and managing smaller fires that might occur even in your own backyard. The talk is sponsored by the Master Gardener℠ volunteers in Transylvania County and is part of the monthly program of talks and demonstrations that will interest Master Gardener℠ volunteers, amateur gardeners, and the public at large.

Wesley will cover such topics as basic fire behavior, how homes burn during a wildfire, some home hardening techniques that can save homes, and how fire-resistant landscaping and defensible space play into that goal. Some staff from North Carolina Forest Service county office will also be present.

Wesley Sketo is the Wildfire Mitigation Forester for the North Carolina Department of Forestry. A native of South Carolina, he attended Clemson University after an enlistment in the US Navy. At Clemson he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forestry before beginning to establish his career, working primarily for federal land management agencies. In 2017, he made the decision to join the North Carolina Forest Service and move to the mountains, where he had spent his summers as a child. At the end of 2020, he took the opportunity to broaden his scope by joining the central office fire staff. Increasing the resilience of WNC communities, managing federal grants, and advancing prescribed burning efforts are some of his new responsibilities. Wesley is excited about the opportunity to network with North Carolina Forest Service county staff, NGOs, and partner agencies to increase public awareness of the threat of wildfires and available mitigation strategies.
The talk is sponsored by the Master Gardener℠ volunteers in Transylvania County and will be on Tuesday, August 9th, from 10 to 11.00 a.m. and will be held in the Cooperative Extension Conference Room at 106 E. Morgan St. in Brevard. The public is most welcome and there is no charge. Light refreshments will be served beginning at 9.30 a.m. Telephone 828-884-3109 for any questions.
Janet Lute
Master Gardener