KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
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
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
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 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
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.
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.