July 2004

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General Meeting
July 15, 2004

Meeting was called to order at 8:40 A.M. by Rich Olson at Supervisor McQuiston’s Conference Room, Lake Isabella.
Attending: Rich Olson & Bill Hanna, Grant Admin; Valerie Cassity, ForestKeepers; Ed Royce, Kennedy Meadows; Don Bopp & Richard McClatchey, Homestead POA; Delores Walmer, LIBPOA; Bettie Minster, Canyon Meadows POA; Frances Cohen, & Morton Freeman, Squirrel Valley; Debbie Santiago, BLM fire; Jim Davis, Sawmill; Ron Hyatt, Mojave Desert Mtn. RC&D; Beth Willett & Kimberly Jaskula, SCA Fire Education; Angela Yearwood, Jim Yearwood, & Margie Clack, USFS; Judy Dempsey, Walter Mortenson Ins.; Emily Diggles, Bibiana Branam, & Linda Potts, Myers Canyon POA.
Minutes of the June, 2004 meeting were read and approved. Motioned by Emily Diggles and seconded by Jim Davis.
Treasurer's Report: No change. Motion for approval by Jim Davis; seconded by Betty Minster. Approved.
Grant Status --- Rich Olson
Alta Sierra Fire Safe Plan has issues with contractors and is about 30 days behind schedule. contractor is re-vising draft and will submit a new one.
The Alta Sierra Fuel Break - all environmental, biological, etc. documents are in place. All but four (4) permits to enter properties have been obtained. Piles of brush left will be taken care of when the crews get back. Getting good feedback from property owners.
Saw Mill is nearly completed but still needs some work to be done. Jim Davis explained the plan to cut brush so that it (the cutting) starts low and goes up wider as it goes up hillsides. This is the route fire takes as it travels up hill.
Roger Road is cut and chipped and is in good shape.
Myers Canyon -- archaeological reports and “permits to enter properties” are being prepared and
Hopefully work will be done next spring (2005).
Red Flag Program:
The flags are here. Waiting to be sure that standard operations, protocal and controls that are necessary are in place.
Insurance Issues: Judy Dempsey, Walter Mortensen Insuranace
Judy Dempsey from Mortensen Insurance gave a very informative presentation of requirements regarding regulations for brush clearance in order for property owners to obtain insurance. She said brush clearance could be described as anything except landscaped plantings, trees that have been trimmed, etc. She spoke about several companies and commented that there is a lot of conflict between public agencies and the insurance industry regarding the rules for brush clearance. Each company has its own criteria.
Rich Olson suggested that the Fire Safe Council might draft a letter comparing these insurance issues and send it to the State Fire Safe Council and the Insurance Commissioner. This issue was "tabled" until Ms. Dempsey could do more research and present the Council with more information.
FSC Minutes (Cont’d):
Ron Hyatt made the comment that if too much brush was cleared from the land, another problem may arise in the form of flooding, loss of sedimentation and erosion of soil. He felt this should be brought to the attention of private and public agencies.
A motion to draft a letter to the State Fire Safe Council and the Insurance Commissioner when new information from Ms. Dempsey arrived was brought by Rich Olason and seconded by Morton Freeman.
Bett Willett reported that they have done approximately 50 -55 home property assessments in Bodfish and Wofford Heights. They are currently involved in making a model home that could be used to show how property should be cleared and made fire safe. Emily Diggles suggested that they attend the Hummingbird Festival and possibly the Turkey Vulture Festival in order to talk to more people regarding property assessments.
Property Owner's Associations:
Kennedy Meadows --- Ed Royce reported that their meeting will be held on Aug. 2, 2004. Debbie Santiago plans to attend.
Homestead: They are concerned about the visibility of fire hydrants. Rich Olson commented that the up-keep of the hydrants
(painting and weed clearance around them) depends on the agreement in place between the local fire station and the water companies.
Myers Canyon: They had a question about brush cuttings that people left in easements areas. This becomes the problem of the property owner if the easement is near or on their property and they must clear the brush.
Squirrel Valley: Most clearing is done. A question about a vacant lot that was sited last year but still not cleared was brought up . Rich Olson suggested that it might be a good idea to check with the local fire station and request information and ask that the lots be lots be considered for clearing.
Alta Sierra: Jim Davis reports that property owners want to do something for Crew 87 to thank them for all their work --- possibly a BBQ. Alta Sierra is in good condition --- almost like a park --- but still needs a little work.
New Business:
Debbie mentioned Publicity Releases and Letters to the Editor speaking of successes would be helpful.
Next Meeting will be the 3rd Thursday, August 19th, 8:30, Supv. McQuiston’s Conference Room
Motion for adjournment was made by Mort Freeman and seconded by Margie Clack. Meeting adjourned at 10:30 A.M.

Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council ● PO Box 633, Kernville, CA 93238

General information: Lloyd Smith ● (760) 377-3542

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