KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
June 16, 2005
Those present: David Bacalis, Richard Olson, Matt Pontes, Gordon
Hancock, Christine Hancock, Penny Lampkins, Sharon Rooney, Ed Royce,
Angela Yearwood, Debbie Santiago, Chris Ryan, Jennifer Mata, Jim
Davis, Emily Diggles, Eric Hutchins, Ken Stevens, Robert Robinson,
Vice President Dave Bacalis convened the meeting at 8:30 A.M.
Introductions were made including a new guest, Robert Robinson, RC&D
The May minutes were read. Motion to accept: Sharon Rooney. Ed Royce –
2nd. Unanimous approval.
Treasurer’s Report: Sharon Rooney reports an operating account balance
Myer’s Canyon Grant balance of $126,653.10; Tehachapi Grant balance
Sharon paid the H&R tax preparation invoice of $250.00 for the KRV FSC;
initial Tehachapi Community Fire Plan fee for Hangfire Environmental
and $218.50 for invoice received from Wildfire Risk Management for the
Myers Canyon project.
Motion to accept: Robin Wyatt-Little. Emily Diggles – 2nd. Unanimous
Grant Administrator’s Report: Rich Olson
l. The final grant report for the Alta Sierra Community Fire Safe Plan
has been submitted. There will be a $1,300.00 administrative cost
invoice submitted from Wildfire Risk Management.
2. Rich reports that of the $200, 000.00 for the Alta Sierra Fuel
Break, $185,000.00 has been spent. The remaining $14,000.00 will be
spent on removing winter storm hazard trees and downed debris.
3. Residents of Myers Canyon are very pleased with progress thus far
on the fuel reduction project. Road brushing is done and fuel break
work has begun on the west side of S. Alpine.
4. Kennedy Meadows Community Fire Plan Grant is progressing. A Request
For Proposal (RFP) is being developed for a consultant.
Rich Olson reiterated the need to alert private property owners of
their responsibility to maintain fuel breaks once the project(s) are
General discussion regarding grant monies availability and possible
sources for future grant funding.
Jim Davis feels that there is a visible increase in defensible space
clearing throughout the Kern River Valley and attributes this directly
to our Fire Safe Council outreach, educational efforts. Bodfish is a
prime example of this according to Rich Olson.
BLM Report: Debbie Santiago.
Debbie urges our FSC to proceed with CWPP formal recognition for the
Alta Sierra Community Wildfire Protection Plan which is mainly the
domain of California Department of Forestry. The benefit of this
“certification” will be realized in the future when our CWPP’s in the
Kern River Valley evolve and are amended, which then will enhance
consideration for future grant funding. Matt Pontes will proceed with
the signatory page needed for signatures from all agencies that
participate in fire suppression which affects structure. This
signatory document at the conclusion of a CWPP project shows the level
of collaboration between agencies i.e. KCFD, BLM and USFS. Matt and
Rich will contact Georgianne with the Kern County Office of Emergency
NOTE: This document will automatically be processed for the Myer’s
Debbie reports that BLM has mandated a five year projects plan which
will assist BLM budgeting for Communities at Risk projects adjacent to
private properties. This 5 year project will be coordinated with the
Debbie is also working on a Risk Management Mitigation Strategy (RAMS)
for Communities at Risk (CARS.) She is preparing maps and pertinent
data for the
July 11th deadline. Debbie requested a history of the KRV FSC
accomplishments since it’s’ inception. Robin and Rich will get this
information to Deb.
Dave Bacalis addressed the need for the FSC to maintain data records
for future grant applications and project planning etc. It was agreed
this should be coordinated.
It was further agreed that an annual planning/coordinating meeting
should be on our calendar for KCFD, BLM and USFS to collaborate and
plan future fire prevention projects in the Kern River Valley. It was
agreed this meeting will take place by the end of October 2005.
Debbie reports that the posters are ready for distribution and asked
FSC members to help with this project. Several members took posters
for this purpose. A round of applause for Debbie’s efforts on this
educational outreach project.
Forest Service: Eric Hutchens and Angela Yearwood.
Eric feels that private property hazardous fuel reduction is in
greater evidence than last year. The 1st Round noncompliance letters
are being sent soon. Eric reports that the Kern Plateau prescribed
burn will begin in the near future.
Angie suggests that the FSC review the 2005 Firewise Community Guide
CD. She also reports that she will be teaching the ROP (Regional
Occupation Program) Fire Science class at the Kern Valley High School.
Angie would like to explore the Fire Safe Council’s role/participation
in this class. Suggestions were made which included having students
attend the FSC monthly meetings; the FSC presenting a program to the
class and perhaps having the students give presentations to the
community. Debbie suggested a “HOST” (Helping Our Seniors Together)
project for the students. All of these will be explored.
Kern County Fire Department: Ken Stevens.
Ken reports that the demonstration lot across from the Bodfish Post
Office (aka Bodfish National Park) has been cleared. Ken also tells us
that the defensible space demonstration DVD is still being tweaked.
Ken feels that it is time to “teach defensible space treatment” rather
than “defensible space clearance”, by showing viewers exactly what is
involved i.e. limbing trees, clearing fuels etc.
Ken reports that Tim Walsh, consultant for the Tehachapi CWPP, has
built into their Plan, a Plan amendment process.
Ken reports that the Kern County FSC meeting involved a mission
statement, prospective members and consultants.
Crew 7 is currently working on the Greenhorn. Photo monitoring of the
Myers Canyon project is ongoing.
Property Owners Associations:
Greenhorn POA – Penny Lampkins. Penny reports that property owners
spent three weekends preparing for their green waste project which
resulted in 7 large bins being filled and hauled away by Thomas
Refuse. The property owners bore the expense of this project. She
tells us that 60 residents participated this year versus 20 residents
last year. There were two KCFD crews, two chippers and 28 residents on
site June 11, 2005 for their chipper day project which lasted from 8AM
to 6PM. Great cooperation! Penny also thanked the FSC and its’
partners for the fuel break. Penny was assured the remaining fuel
piles will be burned in the Fall by Crew 7 plus removal of any dead
standing within the fuel break area.
Kennedy Meadows POA – Ed Royce.
Ed reported that their Memorial Day clean-up project went well
followed by their annual BBQ and meeting. Marcine and Rich Olson
attended along with 38 others. There was a helicopter evacuation
Myers Canyon POA – Emily Diggles.
Emily reports the residents are very pleased with the fuel reduction
project. Emily has distributed posters which warn residents not to add
their debris to the piles already stacked by the crews. Emily gave a
fire safe presentation to a group of 10 in the area. Emily has
requested a chipper day event in the Fall.
Frontier Trail POA – Robin Wyatt-Little
Robin reports that she developed a letter to the property owners
advising them of their responsibility to maintain the Rodgers Road
fuel break. Robin suggested this might be a collaborative effort
between Rodgers Road and FTHA residents. She has volunteered to
coordinate this. Robin also requested FTHA address the need for road
brushing on both North and South Frontier Trail. This letter was
distributed at the general meeting (25 in attendance.)
Bodfish/Lake Isabella POA – Gordon and Christine Hancock
Gordon and Christine submitted four color photos of defensible space
examples in Bodfish. Robin submitted nine addresses, Emily submitted
three from the Myers Canyon area.Discussion followed regarding Dave
Bacalis’ suggestion that perhaps the FSC might develop an article for
both papers and see if they would run a “collage” of photos showing
KRV residents efforts in creating defensible space. Agreed this would
be a good idea. We need more addresses from around the KRV. Angie said
she would contact the News papers about the photo layout once the
article is written.
Sawmill POA – Jim Davis
Jim reports that Sawmill residents have taken their cut fuels to
Hungry Gulch for the scheduled June 25th chipper day. Camp Owen will
be assisting. Dave Bacalis will take photos.
Respectfully submitted by: Robin Wyatt-Little, Secretary