KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
March 16, 2006
Those present: Ed Royce, Marcine Hughes, John Hughes, Lloyd Smith,
Jennifer Mata, Chris
Ryan, Ruth Ellison, Jack Tomlinson, Jim Davis, Delores Walmer, Emily
Robinson, Richard Olson, Sharon Rooney, John Hayes, Kevin Chambers,
Ken Stevens, Angela Yearwood, Scott Williams and Robin Wyatt-Little.
President Marcine Hughes convened the meeting at 8:32 A.M.
Introductions were made.
Minutes for the January 2006 meeting were approved. Ed Royce – 1st.
Jim Davis – 2nd.
Treasurers’ Report: Sharon Rooney reports the Kennedy Meadows CWPP
Grant Account balance is $11,225.00; Tehachapi FSC Grant Account
balance is $4,752.45. The KRV FSA operating account balance is
$1,225.60. Motion to accept: John Hughes – 1st. Rich Olson-
2nd. Unanimous approval.
Robin opened discussion regarding restructuring the FSC organization,
citing the need to distribute responsibilities amongst many rather
than a few. Applause to Marcine Hughes for her outstanding job as
President (two terms) of the KRV FSC. It was agreed that FSC members
would volunteer to chair committees for: Publicity (Margie Clack);
Speakers Bureau (Robin
Wyatt-Little); Chipper Days (Margaret Belz); Special Projects (Ed
Royce). A fundraising chair has yet to be named. Emily Diggles will
assist Margie. Jim Davis will assist Ed Royce.
Delores Walmer and Emily will work with Robin.
Discussion followed concerning fundraising and what that would entail.
To be refined.
Chair people will also chair the general meetings on a rotating basis.
April 20th – Ed Royce.
May 18th – Jim Davis. June 15th – Rich Olson. July 20 – Ken Stevens.
GRANTS: Rich Olson.
Kennedy Meadows received one RFP response (four sent out) for the CWPP
Grant. Ken Delfino will be the consultant. The proposal will be
reviewed by Rich Olson, Ed Royce and Matt Pontes to work out details
prior to project beginning.
Hungry Gulch fuels reduction project progressing with license-to-enter
letters being sent out soon; KCFD working on the archaeological
studies; BLM has cleared the biological and botanical requirements for
the ESA (Endangered Species Act) according to Jennifer Mata.
Rich, Matt, Ken and John Smith will walk the project area to determine
final perimeter. Road brushing and fuels removal of private property
perimeters. Completion of this project will provide a fuel break from
the west end of Wagy Flat down to the Lake.
Ken Stevens anticipates the fuels crew will begin March 20th for their
two week training. The actual project will probably begin in May once
all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted.
Rich reports that the KRV FSC will act as fiscal agents for Mt. Pinos,
administrating their CWPP grant project and their Fuels Project.
Sequoia Crest CWPP grant application ranked very high for
The Bodfish Canyon Road fuel break grant application is receiving top
priority locally. This project is titled “Bodfish Canyon Road
Evacuation Improvement Plan.” This project would entail road brushing
100’ on each side of the canyon road. A component of this project is
to educate property owners about their responsibility to create
adequate defensible space so they
would be able to “stay put” in the event of a wildfire and not try to
travel on the only exit road. It was agreed that a FSC presentation
should be scheduled with the Lake Isabella-Bodfish POA.
Tillie Creek fuel break grant application is pending. Rodgers Road
fuel break extension grant application is pending. KRV CWPP
amendment/update grant application is pending. Erskine Creek fuel
break grant application is pending. Grant awards will be announced
It was agreed that FSC presentations should be made to these local
POA’s/Neighborhoods in conjunction with the corresponding grant
projects. Robin will begin scheduling.
FOREST SERVICE: Scott Williams and Angie Yearwood.
Scott gave an update of the recent Forest Service budget cuts and how
they affect local wildfire preparedness and fuel project completions.
Robin read the FSC letter to Congressman Thomas and Senators Feinstein
and Boxer, expressing concern for public safety and requesting
reinstatement to previous funding levels for both the Forest Service
and BLM. Ed Royce also sent letters from the Kennedy Meadows area.
Scott reported on local fuels projects which should begin in the near
future. Alta Sierra-Phase 1
is just about completed. Scott tells us that next month Cindy Thill
will report on the arson prevention project and the Wildfire Safety
Road Signs. It was agreed that the FSC should incorporate arson
awareness in their educational presentations plus develop radio public
service announcements. Scott mentioned that the larger percentage of
arson fires are not solved.
Angie tells us the recent Bakersfield Home and Garden Show proved to
be beneficial for the Forest Service booth with good traffic and
exchange of information with the public. There will be another in the
Fall at which time the FSC will participate. Angie worked with White
Forest Nursery, getting fire resistant plants for the booth.
Marcine has been coordinating with Bakersfield nursery owners to
present fire resistant landscaping ideas on their early morning TV
BLM: Ruth Ellison and Kevin Chambers
Ruth reports that the HDFPA (High Desert Fire Prevention Association)
has begun work for this year’s fire prevention poster contest. The
theme for 2006 is “Fire Safety Begins With Me.”
Entry forms are being printed for Tehachapi (2200), Mt. Pinos (3600)
and KRV (3600). First place winners will receive $75.00, second place
winners receive $50.00 and third place winners will receive a Smokey
Bear back pack. Judging will follow the April 19th deadline for
There is a possibility that State Farm Insurance will finance a
with the winning posters. Ruth announced the new BLM State Fire
Mitigation & Education Specialist Jane Arteaga.
Kevin Chambers also gave an overview of BLM budget cuts explaining
what fire resource equipment would be removed from service until
budget constraints improved. He also reiterated that grant funding is
less plentiful and also that there are more Fire Safe Councils
competing for the same funds. Kevin outlined proposed 2007 fuels
projects which will be submitted in April 2006 for approval. Areas
targeted are Sawmill/Isabella Highlands; Hungry Gulch; Wagy Flats;
Erskine Creek and Tillie Creek. Chris Ryan reports that there has been
a delay in contract negotiations with Los Angeles County for the brush
crusher equipment for the Pala Ranches fuels project. The funds will
be set aside until such time the equipment is available, hopefully in
the Fall. Kevin would like to expand project goals into the Walker
Basin area. Agreed that a FSC presentation is needed in this area.
Robin will work on that.
Kevin will coordinate with Ed Royce and others from the Kennedy
Meadows area regarding future projects.
KERN COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: Ken Stevens
Ken reports that Crew 87 will begin training next week with the Rio
Bravo and Crew 7 starting up in May. Ken reports that the Kern County
FSC is updating the newspaper insert with input from the San Luis
Obispo FSC. State Farm Insurance is funding this effort. WILDFIRE
AWARENESS WEEK WILL BE MAY 7th – 13th.
Ken handed out copies of the State Defensible Space Guidelines. These
cover the 0-30’ defensible space and the 30’-100’ fuel break area.
These will be issued to the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Providers at
this year’s workshop. Ken also will have the new locally produced DVD
about defensible space available for presentations.
Ken reports that the requested funding for new fuel crews trucks was
granted by the KC Board of Supervisors. A letter of appreciation will
be sent to Supervisor McQuiston.
PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATIONS:
Emily Diggles commented that the Myers Canyon roads are in poor
condition and efforts are proceeding to remedy this. She would like a
FSC presentation and chipper day scheduled.
Jim Davis thanked the KCFD for the map. Jim reports that Isabella
Highlands are fundraising in order to purchase 22 county-standard
street signs ($175.00 each.)
Ed Royce reports that Kennedy Meadows have six emergency telephones
installed on Kennedy Meadows road which the Ducor telephone company
will operate at no cost. Ed also reports that his community has
established a ten-telephone first aid broadcast system. When one
telephone rings, all ten ring, assuring contact with someone for
Bob Robinson mentioned that the Mojave RC&D is hosting a plant sale
and water efficiency
workshop on April 22nd and May 6th. Marcine will send Bob pertinent
fire safe plant lists for the workshop.
Lloyd Smith from Walker Pass expressed concern for the increased
traffic in his area and the potential for wildfire occurrences when
one sees the amount of trash thrown out car windows.
Ken Stevens suggested the KRV FSC might want to consider purchasing a
for FSC presentations. The FSC currently uses the laptop and the sound
quality is less than
ideal. John and Marcine Hughes generously offered to buy a DVD,
speakers and cables ($257.00) for the FSC. Loud appreciation was
displayed for this donation.
Respectfully submitted by: Robin Wyatt-Little, Secretary