KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
April 21, 2005
Those present: Marcine Hughes, John Hughes, Robin Wyatt-Little, Ed
Royce, Gordon Hancock, Christine Hancock, Delores Walmer, Emily
Diggles, Sharon Rooney, John
Smith, Jim Bauer, Artie Colson, Margie Clack, Matt Pontes, Sue Rocha,
Debbie Santiago, Jim Davis, Dave Bacalis.
Meeting convened at 8:35 A.M. by President Marcine Hughes.
Introductions were made.
Minutes: Robin made mention of two corrections in the Grant
Administrator’s report at the March meeting. 1) Item 3: The crews will
be on board April 4th and most likely will
be available by the second week of April following their refresher
training. 2) Item 4:
The Pre-Attack Plans have yet to be distributed to the necessary users
This will be done soon.
Minutes were approved: Motion to accept: Emily – 1st. Delores – 2nd.
Treasurer’s Report: Sharon Rooney reports Grant Project Balance for
as $119,741.80 and $15,000.00 for the Tehachapi Fire Plan Grant. KRV
Funds are $716.41. Motion to accept: Robin – 1st. Ed – 2nd. Unanimous
Grant Administrator’s Report by Matt Pontes:
l. The Sawmill Fuels Reduction BLM Grant Project is done. The
7th/final report has
2. The Alta Sierra Fuels Reduction, Forest Service Grant Project
received an extension
until June 30, 2005 so that remaining fuel piles can be burned when
3. The Alta Sierra Community Fire Safe Plan, Forest Service Grant
Project is completed. The final grant report will be submitted once
final budget items are paid.
4. The Myers Canyon Fuels Reduction, BLM Grant Project began on April
18, 2005 with fuels crew brushing roads within the project area. This
project has a scheduled
completion date of July 1, 2005.
5. The Rodgers Road Fuels Reduction, Forest Service Grant Project is
the final Grant report submitted.
6. The Kennedy Meadows Community Fire Safe Plan, funded through BLM
approved. This is a $30,000.00 grant for the 2005/2006 funding
BLM Report: Debbie Santiago and Sue Rocha.
Debbie distributed printed information about the Piute Cypress which
is currently being
considered under the Endangered Species Act as a Category C.
The March 24th BLM grant award ceremony to the Tehachapi Fire Safe
Council went well, with several FSC partners present. This grant is
for development of a Community
Fire Safe Plan.
Debbie reports that there is even greater push for all Community Fire
Safe Plans to become certified as “Community Wildfire Protection
Plans” (CWPP) which will enhance future grant funding consideration.
Debbie will be attending an intensive Grant Training seminar in Boise.
Debbie and Sue report that the HDFPA posters for the contest have been
collected and judging begins today. Approximately 4000 were
distributed, both on the upper Desert and in the Kern River Valley.
Debbie is determined to have the posters selected and printed for
distribution during Wildfire Awareness Week (5/9 – 5/13) and the
presentation to the Kern County Board of Supervisor’s meeting on
Debbie recommends the Fire Plan and Mapping Assessment link on the FSC
Debbie will be busy working on the development of the BLM five-year
Fuels Management Plan for KRV .
Forest Service Report: Margie Clack, Jim Bauer, Artie Colson.
Margie gave an overview of 2006 Forest Service Grants reporting that
the bulk of the grant awards went to San Bernardino County.
Jim Bauer reports that there is still 10’ PLUS snow at Sherman Pass.
Margie suggested the FSC show the FS DVD of the McNally fire at the
Artie Colson reports that Special Use Permits for Recreational Cabins
on Forest Service
Land will be expiring 12/31/08. The permits are being reviewed and
updated for water resources, hazardous fuel reduction etc.requirements
for renewal purposes.
Artie reports that due to severe winter wind conditions, several trees
on Alta Sierra have snapped and lost large limbs. Many of these trees
pose a threat to the Cabins and will be treated accordingly. Matt
Pontes said that these same conditions exist on County Parks
Land on Alta Sierra and they too will be chipping the downed branches
Debbie suggested that the FSC and partners check the State FSC website
link (www.healthyforest.gov/initiative/biomass) to explore better data
methodology to monitor the amount of biomass generated here in the
Kern River Valley. She suggests that biomass utilization is “under
reported”. It was agreed that “acres treated” would be the bottom line
for data computation.
General discussion followed regarding Kern County Waste Management
policies dealing with green waste brought to collection sites. John
Smith suggested we research what governs the current policies before
we ask the Kern County Fire Safe Council to get involved in green
waste management. Agreed.
KCFD Report: John Smith.
John reiterated the need to have the KRV FSC Fire Safe Plan certified
as a CWPP and to have BLM, Forest Service and Kern County Fire
Department develop long range plans for wildfire mitigation projects.
At that point the KRV FSC Plan can be amended to reflect the new
identified projects. As fire season permits, a meeting will be
John reports that Myers Canyon is the only fuels project in operation
John opened discussion of budget constraints and how KCFD money will
be used to maintain existing fuel breaks if private property owners
don’t understand their responsibility to maintain a firebreak once it
has been cleared by county crews. Matt
points out that if funds are used for maintenance then there will be
NO monies available for NEEDED, NEW fuel reduction projects. At this
juncture Robin asked if she had permission to send a letter to
Frontier Homes POA and residents of Rodgers Road reminding them that
the recent fuel break needs maintaining by surrounding property
owners. It was agreed this would be done on FSC letterhead.
It was agreed that the maintenance of existing fuel breaks on private
property was a matter of educating the public about their
responsibilities. A plan for this is to be developed.
John asked that POA FSC representatives submit names and addresses of
properties that have been cleared for defensible space purposes so he
(KVFD) can contact them and get permission to place an appropriate
“Atta’ Boy” sign on their property as we did with the Demonstration
Lots project. Names to be submitted at the FSC May meeting. Marcine
suggested that perhaps the local newspapers could publish an award
It was suggested that the FSC sponsor a contest for defensible space
parcels. Margie feels that Realtors might join in this effort as they
travel all over the Valley and could take a photo and submit to the
FSC. Dave Bacalis agreed to head a committee (Emily, Robin and Debbie)
for this purpose following the June 9th fire clearance deadline.
Dave Bacalis updated Chipper Day guidelines and asked that he be
contacted at his office (376-2231) and leave a message on his voice
Marcine reported on the Kern County Fire Safe Council meeting of April
20, 2005. It was agreed at this meeting that the purpose of a
county-wide FSC would be to assist the State Fire Safe Council;
research financial funding for fire safe projects and to act as
“advocates for fire safe communities.” Future KC FSC partners were
identified and a suggested hierarchy of FSC management was discussed
based on KCFD Chief’s recommendations. Meetings would probably be held
quarterly. All of this development is in the draft stage.
Property Owner Association(s) Report:
Myers Canyon: Emily Diggles reports that 1 ½ miles of road have been
brushed by the county fuels crew within the Fuels Reduction Grant
Squirrel Valley: John Hughes reports that their annual Chipper Day
will be held May 7th with a minimum of 12 parcels involved and a
potential of 30 parcels total, once confirmed. John confirmed with
Dave Bacalis that two chippers are needed. Lunch will be served. It
was suggested this would be an excellent publicity event to coincide
with Wildfire Awareness Week. The newspapers will be contacted. FSC
partners are encouraged to attend.
Kennedy Meadows: Ed Royce reports that Allstate Insurance has pulled
their coverage for Kennedy Meadows. Currently there are no insurance
carriers for that area. This leaves the California State Fair Plan as
the only option for those residents desiring insurance coverage. This
option costs more. Ed also reports that a recent medical emergency did
not end well for a Kennedy Meadow resident due to the remote location
and no on-site emergency responders. Steps have been taken for a First
Responder Course for Kennedy Meadow residents. Sue Rocha suggests that
Ed look into recent County Funds (Grant) for an AED (defibrillator)
for their community.
Sawmill-Lake Isabella Highlands: Jim Davis reports that their POA will
be sending a letter of thanks to BLM for the recent fuel reduction
grant project and to KCFD and FSC for their involvement. Apparently
there are not enough residents to date for a chipper day. Perhaps
later. Residents have done some road clearance and private parcels are
receiving fuel reduction work by Jim Davis and Joe Trampus. John Smith
offered continued KCFD support in this area.
Lake Isabella – Bodfish: Delores reports that their POA will again
host a Community Meeting with invited agency participants from County
and State. To be held May 17th, 6-9 PM. At the Senior Citizens Hall,
Lake Isabella. Delores said that FSC educational materials were left
on top of the cabinets at the Sr. Center. Marcine will retrieve those.
Alta Sierra: Dave Bacalis reports their annual Chipper Day will be
held June 11th at noon. Green waste will be cut on 5/21 and 5/28 and
hauled to dumpsters provided by the POA. Dave will do the photo
monitoring, before and after.
Frontier Homes : Robin reports that an information fire safe packet
will be delivered to residents of both the POA and to Rodgers Road
property owners. A perpetual weed eating hum can be heard throughout
Frontier Homes. Robin will talk with POA about road brushing.
Jim Davis inquired about Plater Road. Marcine reassured Jim that Rich
Olson as Grant Administrator will communicate with those residents
about future brush clearing projects.
Marcine has asked for help with scheduling Speakers Bureau
presentations; Bio Regions booth on April 30th and History Days with
the KRV Historical Society on May 14th.
Robin , Dave and possibly Debbie will volunteer to help with the booth
that will be shared with the Forest Service for Bio Regions. Robin
specifically will be there 8-12.
History Days needs someone from 8-3/4. Please call Marcine at
Marcine has also asked for volunteers to attend the May 10th Board of
Supervisors meeting for presentation of the HDFPA winning poster and
FSC materials. Artie Colson volunteered to do the early morning TV
interview(s). Marcine asked Margie to assist with coordinating
publicity for Wildfire Awareness Week events. Margie agreed.
Emily volunteered to place FSC handout materials on a table at the Art
Association’s Show on May 28th. Robin and Marcine will get materials
Debbie has asked for FSC volunteers to help with the HDFPA Poster
Award Ceremony. Debbie will let us know just what day that will be
during the week of May 9-13th.
Submitted by: Robin Wyatt-Little, Secretary