SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - In addition to being celebrated as Cinco de Mayo, May 5th is also Wildfire Community Preparedness Day.
To mark it, combat veterans with the non-profit group Veterans Community Response, partnered with the Washington Department of Natural Resources to clear forest fire fuel from a property in the Four Mounds community North of Spokane.
The non-profit VCR was founded by Spokane Valley Firefighters as a disaster response group after the 2004 earthquake in Sri Lanka. It has since expanded to become a group to help veterans re-integrate back into civilian life.
"I feel like it is building good team comradery, and if anything its helping people get out of their shell," said Washington DNR Landowner Assistance Forester, Nick Jeffries.
A combat veteran himself, he says he knows getting together with a group of veterans and serving the community is an opportunity for other vets to re-integrate back into civilian life.
"It really just gives us that sense of purpose, sense of community," said Army veteran Richard Schults.
Veterans worked to thin out trees less than 8 inches in diameter and prune remaining ones up to 10 feet. For homeowners the best time is now to get started on annual maintenance to avoid the worst during fire season.
"Any where an ember can land is somewhere you want to cleanup," said Jeffries. "Right now is the time to get out."
For more information on Veterans Community Response click here to go to their website.
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