Published on Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The Kern River Valley Fire Safe
Council is a non-profit charitable organization incorporated in
November 2002. The Council applies for and receives federal grant
funding, either directly or through the California Fire Safe Council
clearinghouse. The Council has obtained approximately $1,500,000 in
grant funding through the National Fire Plan supported by the U.S.
Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, and completed fuel
reduction projects in collaboration with the Kern County Fire
Department on approximately 400 acres of private lands in the Kern
River Valley. During 2012 maintenance (some of the projects were
completed ten years ago) will be completed on the original 400 acres
of projects, and new fuel reduction will be completed on an additional
Our vision to “Create a wildland
fire safe community in the Kern River Valley”, has been demonstrated
(Bull Fire), and we constantly endeavor to providing awareness through
education and information exchange. Our success is in no small part
the result of collaboration and coordination with the Forest Service,
, and Kern County Fire Department. We have a Community Wildfire
Protection Plan (www.krvfiresafecouncil.org), and a combined fuel
reduction plan that is updated annually. Our collaborative approach
has allowed even greater effectiveness of our fuel reduction projects
on private lands by connecting with those completed by the Forest
Service and the
on federal lands.
The Council sponsors approximately
five Chipper Days each spring to assist homeowners in completing their
defensible space compliance requirements. Two publications are
available to guide homeowners in protecting their property and homes
from wildland fire: Living With Fire and Ready, Set, Go. Our classroom
programs in the local schools are designed to provide our youth an
awareness of wildland fire and fire safety.
What can you do for the Kern River
We can enjoy living in the
Wildland Urban Interface. But, you too must help and contribute!
Make your home and property fire
safe. You live next to the Wildland Urban Interface. You need to
• Access to your property
• A defensible space around your
home in which the firefighters can work safely to protect your home
• The susceptibility of your
home to outside ignition sources
• Fire sources and safety within
Making your property and home fire
safe helps make the entire community fire safe. Your individual
awareness and willingness can then be leveraged to make our entire
community fire safe.
The Kern River Valley Fire Safe
Council orchestrates wildland fire protection programs and projects.
The collaboration with Kern County Fire Department, the Forest
Service, and the
has allowed us to have an extremely effective program. Now, you too
need to do your part for the benefit of all!
, President, Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council
The Kern River Valley Fire Safe
Council has been working to protect residents of the Kern River Valley
for over ten years. Formed in 2000 the Council enjoys a high level of
partner collaboration with the Kern County Fire Department, Bureau of
Land Management, Forest Service, Camp Erwin Owen, private business,
and valley residents. Our vision is to "Create a wildland fire
safe community in the Kern River Valley". We will do this by
"Providing awareness through education and information exchange,
and facilitate interagency coordination, fire protection and fire
safety projects within Kern River Valley".
The Kern River Valley Fire Safe
Council was incorporated as 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable
organization since 2004. Including projects completed in 2010, the
Council has obtained approximately $1.7M in grant funding through the
California Fire Safe Council clearinghouse sponsored by the National
Fire Plan and supported by the Forest Service and BLM for fuel
reduction projects in the Kern River Valley.
The Board of Directors of the Council
are elected annually by the Stakeholders (anyone in the valley that
wants to participate). The 2011 Board of Directors are: Terry Bolt,
Don Davis, Tom Gelder (Secretary), Christine Hancock, Gordon Hancock,
Sharon Rooney (Treasurer), Ed Royce and Lloyd Smith (President).
Volunteers are always welcome if you would like to help out on one of
our committees. The Board of Directors provides for the day-to-day
operation of the Council. They meet electronically each month through
the use of email. The Stakeholder's meetings are held quarterly in
February, May, August, and November at 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM on the
third Thursday of the month in Supervisor McQuiston's conference room
in the Kern County building in Lake Isabella.
Our major projects this year are
completion of Phase III of a Bodfish Canyon Fuelbreak, completion of
the Burma Interagency Extension Fuelbreak, initiation of the Lake
Isabella Community Defense Zone, initiation of the Mountain Shadows
Community Interagency Defense Zone, and continuation of the Alta
Sierra and Wofford Heights Fuels Reduction project. Our grant funded
fuel reduction projects are executed by the Kern County Fire
Department fuel reduction crews. Ed Royce is our grants committee
Since April 2003 the Council has
sponsored 37 Chipper Days in the communities and neighborhoods
throughout the Kern River Valley. Chipper Days are an extremely
important part of the Council's activities, helping residents prepare
defensible space around their homes. Chipper Days in 2011 will be
conducted in two formats: neighborhood planned chipper day events, and
roving chipper days scheduled in the various communities. Don Davis is
our chipper day committee chairman.
Our educational program will be
significantly expanded this year in the classrooms of our community
schools and throughout the community. We will have in classroom
programs and projects to increase the awareness of our children to the
issues of wildland fire. We also have our roadside signs providing
fire safe messages for residents and visitors coming into the valley.
Terry Bolt is our education committee chairman.
We have two special projects that we
are undertaking this year. The Living With Fire publication, providing
tips on how to create an access zone, develop defensible space,
protect the home ignition zone, and assess the interior zone. This
publication is being produced in collaboration with the Kern Valley
Sun for wide distribution during Wildfire Awareness Week, 2-6 May.
Lloyd Smith is leading this special project. We also have a special
project this year to create some defensible space demonstrations that
are highly visible to the public. These projects will be posted,
providing Valley residents realistic models of defensible space. This
special project is being coordinated by Christine and Gordon Hancock.
Financial contributions are always
welcomed and fully tax-deductible. The funds from our grant projects
are earmarked for a specific activity or for the support of grant
administration by a fire professional. They do not generally support
the Council's educational activities, nor do they cover council
operating costs, the largest item being the non-project related part
of our liability insurance. If you would like to donate to the Kern
River Valley Fire Safe Council contact Tom Gelder, our fund raising
Kern Valley Sun, 8 Sept, 2010,
letter to the editor
Bull Fire -- Kernville, CA July 26,
The smoke column billows from
decadent riparian forest along Bull Run Creek. Bull pines torch,
throwing hot embers to leap frog. Flames venturi on northwest breezes
toward our homes, at the steep end of Burma Road.
Firefighters used community fuel
breaks to keep the Bull Fire from sneaking in Kernville's back door
that Monday afternoon. In a watershed famous for 150,000-acre
wildfires, some would say we were lucky. I would disagree.
Fire clearances around the
neighborhoods at the end of Burlando Road had been clearly visible.
Firewise property owners had worked hard cutting brush, weed-eating
and raking grass, limbing trees. The Fire Safe Council had obtained the
grant money, and fire crews had done the work of constructing the fuel
As the fire is coming over the hill
at us Monday afternoon, two dozers, then Rio Bravo Hotshots park big
fire trucks among our homes. Silently cheering them on, hope returns
as we pack valuables into cars. Dozers tie the fuel breaks to roads.
And Rio Bravo works the edge of the flames to stop the Bull at Burma
Road. Those firewise fuel breaks made it possible for them to pinch
off this corner of the Bull Fire -- 16,000 acres of wildfire that did
Not get Burma Road.
Beyond luck! For the fuel breaks to
defend our neighborhoods, Thank You to the Kern Valley Fire Safe
Council -- a volunteer community organization, Sequoia National
Forest, and Kern County Fire. To all the firefighters who battled the
Bull -- Thank You.
Special Thanks: To BLM and KRN dozer
operators Mitch Wylie and Scotty Davis and their crews. To Jimmy
Rocha, Shawn Burke, Jake Carver and their 2010 lineup of Rio Bravo
Hotshots for materializing out of the smoke at the right place, just
Thank You -- Linda Adams & John
Newman, Burma Road homeowners
Report describes success of the Burma shaded fuel break protecting
1-877-FIRE-TIP IF YOU SUSPECT ARSON
Anyone may call the fire-tip hotline, 1-877-FIRE TIP (1-877-347-3847),
information or suspicions about a possible arson. Information may be
left anonymously or confidentially.
To report a fire in progress,
call 911 immediately.
Kern River Valley Fire Safe
PO Box 633, Kernville, CA 93238
General information: Judy Hyatt • firstname.lastname@example.org