El Dorado County Fire Safe Council Meeting
September 28, 2005
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


The meeting was called to order at approximately 1:10 p.m. by Vicki Yorty, Executive Coordinator. Members and guests present were: Bob Berry , Jennifer Boyd, Maria Capraun, Bill Cave (Director), Mary Cornelison (Director), Richard Englefield (Treasurer), Penny Humphreys (Chair), Allen Jaeger (Director), Joan Jennings (Director), Bob Krieg, Diane Lockwood, Tom Mahach, Nadine Miller, Gene Murphy, Jana Newman, Fred Ott, Audrey Pomato, Barbara Rebiskie, Bill Robinson, Debbie Rood, Jim Stewart (Director), Chris Waters, and Wendy West.

Council members and guests present introduced themselves and a sign-in sheet was distributed for updating contact information.

An update on the sale of FSC 2006 calendars was added to the agenda, then was approved by members. Minutes for the August 24th FSC meeting were approved as written. Vicki confirmed with Rich Englefield that we are now up to date on our website with all past minutes and agendas.

Jana Newman distributed copies of the 2006 calendars to members present. She reported that the format of the calendar was changed to make the calendar more generic and one that other organizations or agencies could use to promote fire safety. Over 2,500 calendars have been sold to date, you can order the calendars on line and we also accept credit cards on line using PayPal. Great job Jana! She also distributed additional copies to the local Fire Safe Councils for distribution to their communities.

Rich Englefield made copies of the financial reports available to attendees. He reported that we are still operating in a deficit balance due to the delay of receiving various grant payments. Rich reported on the website: calendars and green waste vouchers are available on line. CDF and USFS are updating the website with current prescribed burning information, hits on the site continue to increase, many this month from overseas. Bill Robinson requested that the Countywide Wildfire Protection Plan be transferred to PDF format for ease in downloading. Rich will take for action. Vicki praised all of the hard work that Rich has done making our website a model to follow for other fire safe councils.

Board of Directors Report: Penny Humphreys reported on the BOD's lengthy discussion regarding Disaster Preparedness. We must learn lessons from what happened recently in the Gulf and find ways to educate people on what is available as tools, what their responsibilities are, and so forth. Jennifer Boyd, USFS recently returned from the Gulf, said that the biggest lesson she learned was one of personal responsibility: people must recognize that they need to be prepared to be on their own in the first hours and sometimes days after a catastrophic event. That must include having food and water for at least 3 days, consolidating your important documents, records, credit cards, and photos to take with you during an evacuation. She also stated that civil disobedience was a huge issue and is one that occurs frequently in the first days after a disaster usually due to breakdown in infrastructure. There is going to be a table-top disaster drill in Georgetown on October 5th doing a wildland fire in Volcanoville. Another issue that needs to be addressed is what El Dorado County would do if we have to accommodate thousands of people fleeing from a disaster or terrorist attack in Sacramento or the Bay Area.

Allen Jaeger stated that the BOD has approved the revised Bylaws for the FSC and he is currently working on Board of Directors' Policies and Procedures. Allen stated that the Policies should be simple and straight-forward and then the implementation thereof will be in the Procedures. Vicki expressed their appreciation to Allen for all of his hard work on behalf of the BOD. She also stated that she is working with Rich Englefield to come up with a contractor resources page for our website that would contain contact information for various fire safe contractors; this would not be an FSC endorsement, but just an informational page.

Tom Mahach reported that the Sly Park Corridor Community Action Plan is on track. Response has been very good from the survey (over 28% return rate) and the responses expressed the wide diversity of people living in the corridor. The first community meeting held on September 8th went well and they also held their first local Fire Safe Council meeting on September 15th. As throughout the county, the issue of how to get their neighbors to clean up their property was a major concern. Evacuation planning was also a big issue, what people should do, where they go, who will tell them when to leave, etc. and will be a major part of his report.

Dick Harrell has completed his work on the EDC Design and Improvements manual, volume 3 for individual parcels, non-subdivision. This has been over a three year effort and is now in the hands of the Fire Prevention Officers Association to submit to the County.

The CWPP for Grizzly Flats is also on track. Bob Smart and Barry Callenberger have participated in and have held several public meetings to get community input and guidance. The next meeting of the core planning group is scheduled for Oct. 7th in Grizzly Flats.

Gene Murphy announced that the Gold Bud Park CWPP has been completed, he will work with Vicki to get the photographs included in the digitized version and the plan will be presented to the Placerville City Council tentatively on October 25th.

Agency Reports: Barbara Rebiskie reported that plans to more the Baltic Lookout tower to the Fairgrounds are moving forward. The exact location is to be determined and she has hopes to have the project completed by next year's county fair. There might be some fundraising needed when the plans are finalized and the FSC will help in any way possible. Barbara also mentioned that Wal-Mart wants to do some fire safety displays, she did not have details. Vicki stated that the FSC will be having an information booth at Home Depot on Sat. Oct. 1st, Penny Humphries and Rich Englefield will staff this. There is also a Safety Fair in Pioneer that OES will attend and pass out fire safe information.

Executive Coordinator's Report: Vicki distributed copies of the Updated Strategic Planning Project Matrix, Appendix M to the El Dorado County Wildfire Protection Plan for Council review. This 9-page document is really a chronology of FSC actions and projects that have been done, in process, as well as projects proposed for the future. Vicki has coordinated this document with our partners (USFS, CDF, Fire Chiefs, etc.) to make this document as inclusive as possible. Because of the lateness of the hour, she requested that members present review this document for accuracy and provide her with input for the final document. The matrix has been reorganized and sorted by Market Area to be consistent with our CWPP and the El Dorado County General Plan. This reorganization will be extremely useful in determining where there are holes in our planning, tracking progress and results and proposing future project.

Vicki distributed a document listing the additions to the recognized "Communities At Risk (CAR)" on the Federal Register in August 2001. This document was developed at the FSC Board of Directors meeting held the previous week. When the CAR list was developed in 2001 there were many communities in El Dorado County that were overlooked. After lengthy discussion about designated boundaries of existing communities as well as those that were overlooked, Chris Waters, CDF, asked the question of the membership "Is there any time that we have not been able to link a community in the County to a recognized CAR? In his opinion, all of El Dorado County should be recognized as at risk for wildland fire. " After more discussion, the FSC voted unanimously to submit a request to the California Fire Alliance to designate the Western Slope of El Dorado County as a Community At Risk. Vicki will prepare the request and submit it to the CA Fire Alliance.

Open Forum: Allen Jaeger reported that they are planning a meeting on October 25th of the western Sand Ridge community to discuss fire safe issue focusing on defensible space clearing, how to prioritize projects, etc. Jim Stewart, El Dorado Hills, reported that he will be working on establishing some small community-based clean up days after fire season is over and that he will be working with the El Dorado Hills Fire Protection District to establish a local fire safe council. Debbie Root, Mosquito Fire Safe Council, reported that they are making progress with their 2005 Prop 40 grant and have had a 72% participation rate commitment to the next phase of doing evacuation route clearance. Bill Robinson, Chrome Ridge Fire Safe Council, reported that they held their fall meeting recently and provided fire safe information to the attendees. Vicki offered support for their annual community clean-up to provide a green waste dumpster. Mary Cornelison, Volcanoville Fire Safe Council, reminded members of the disaster drill on 10/5/05. Additionally she stated that they are encouraging people to attend ham radio classes as this is a vital link in communications for evacuation. Also, El Dorado County Department of Transportation has been working on road improvements per their grant in 2003: making line of sight road widening and chip and sealing of Volcanoville Road. Mary also stated that they are working on getting more people trained in ham radio operations. Fred Ott made the suggestion that everyone needs to carefully read their insurance policies to determine exactly what their coverage includes. Gene Murphy reported that the Cameron Park Hazard Assessment project is on track and is a very good document. Wendy West, UC Davis Extension, reported on the collaborative project with the FSC and the RCDs of holding a workshop in January or February to cover a variety of fire related subjects from defensible space to maintenance of fuels project. Maria Capraun, Garden Valley, reported that they are starting Defensible Space inspections for their residents. Audrey Pomato, Outingdale Fire Safe Council, reported that their community chipping day went well and they are seeing more participation of residents this year.

Meeting was adjourned at 3:15 pm. Next meeting of the Fire Safe Council will be on Wednesday October 25, 2005 at the Gold Hill Fire Station at 1:00 pm.

Submitted by: Vicki Yorty for Walt Tyler Secretary, EDCFSC