Wildfire risks on Peaks Island
In the spring of 2007, Forest Rangers from the Maine Forest Service came to Peaks to give a presentation on their assessment of wildfire risk on Peaks Island. The biggest risk for Peaks was identified as a lack of defensible space at many of the homes assessed. To create such a defensible space, trees and shrubs growing up against or very near the house should be trimmed back or removed. Homeowners are urged to walk around the outside of their home to see if they have a clear area around it that would resist fire and from which firemen could defend against an approaching wildfire.
For those of you inclined to wander, you may have noticed more ways to get turned around on Peaks Island these days. The Fire Abatement work that occurred around the island involved private landowners, as well as, many Peaks Island Land Preserve parcels. While loggers were able to remove timber from private property with an owner's release, Peaks Island Land Preserve had to negotiate a separate agreement with the City of Portland to have the loggers drop and cut up trees from the Patriot day storm and leave the trees on the ground to decompose on location. This process is in accordance with our property easements that forbid mechanized removal of timber. It significantly reduces the potential fire danger from storm damage, and it maintains nutrients in the soil.
The Peaks Island Land Preserve would like to thank and acknowledge the excellent work done by the logging crew hired by the city for some of the larger parcels, as well as, the work done by Stan Newell and his crew on the Davies and Skillings parcels. A group of landscapers were hired to clean up after the loggers and to restore trails to their original condition. Clearly the landscaping crew, like the loggers, went above and beyond by improving many existing trails and adding several connecting trails in the Parker Woods parcel. The Indian Trail now has several side trails that provide new opportunities to explore more of the protected property on Peaks.