El Dorado County Fire Safe Council Meeting
October 26, 2005
Gold Hill Fire Station, 6051 Gold Hill Road
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


The meeting was called to order at approximately 1:00 p.m. by Vicki Yorty, EDCFSC Executive Coordinator. Introductions were made. Members and guests present were: Jody Armstrong, Bob Berry, Jennifer Boyd, Barry Callenberger, Bill Cave (Director), Mary Cornelison (Director), Richard Englefield (Treasurer), Ray Griffiths (Vice Chair), Allen Jaeger (Director), Joan Jennings (Director), Tom Mahach, Susan McKenzie, Teri Mizuhara, Ed and Audrey Pomato, Barbara Rebiskie, Bill Robinson, Debbie Rood, Bob Signor, Bob Smart, Jim Stewart (Director), Walt Tyler (Secretary), Denice Rice, Diane Lockwood, Richard Delbridge, Robert Dorisse, Richard Dawdy, Gene Murphy, Phyllis Banducci.

Mary Corneilson proposed a motion to approve the agenda as submitted. Second by Allen Jaeger. Approved by all present.

A motion was proposed by Richard Englefield to approve the EDCFSC Minutes of 9-28-05 as submitted. Second by Bill Cave. Approved by all present.

Mary Cornelison gave a description of events of the recent emergency drill that took place in the Volcanoville area. The following organizations and agencies were involved: USDF, Georgetown Fire, CERT, NEST, Red Cross, EDC Animal Control, Noah's Wish, CDF, OES. The primary concern was to evacuate the area. Various problems were presented to make the exercise realistic. The local school evacuation plan was not available. Making the school evacuation plan available to emergency response agencies will be a top priority. Recognizing the importance of evacuation and fire safety measures by residents will be challenging. Mary indicated that the exercise was successful and brought several areas to attention that need additional planning.

Rich Englefield gave the Treasurer's report. He provided the Directors with a printed summary. He gave a current up date of the web site. He has updated the Green Waste Voucher information. He is still working on the list of contractors to be placed on the web site and asked the Directors to assist with developing the list. The list will be for information only and the EDCFSC will not endorse the contractors.

Diane Deally-Neill gave a report on the 2005 California Forestry Challenge. There were over 100 people involved this year. There was TV and Mountain Democrat coverage. Part of the exercise was tours and evaluation of the Fred's Fire area. Participant comments supported the quick response to harvesting the damaged timber before it could deteriorate beyond use. This is not usual and quick harvesting should be emphasized to fire damaged timber in the future. Overall the students seemed aware of many environmental factors.

Tom Mahach gave a report on the Sly Park Corridor Community Action Plan. He has completed the surveys and will focus on the emergency action. Persons needing emergency assistance are being identified. Emergency evacuation and communication plans are being developed. Chain of command of emergency service agencies is being looked into. Emphasis is on community being able to act on its own without outside grant or other funding.

Bob Smart reported on the progress of the Grizzly Flats CWPP. He described the fuel reduction planning for the evacuation route (Spring Canyon) and the feeder streets within the community. A 200' fuel reduction perimeter around the local school and fuel reduction of the GFCSD sites (water service) are included. Funding for a local chipper and defensible space inspections are recommended.

Barry Callenberger reported on work he is doing in Cameron Park for CDF and Fire Safe Council. He is helping to develop a hazard map and a fuel module plan. It will eventually be turned over to the Fire Safe Council. Every parcel in Cameron Park will be evaluated regarding flammable or nonflammable structure, acceptable landscaping, compliance of 100' clearance of flammable materials. Projected fire behavior will be identified.

Phyllis Banducci reported on grant funding progress and the hiring of a new Forester. A request was made to coordinate a group workshop including all satellite Fire Safe Councils. ICS and evacuation information would be presented and representatives could provide the information to their Fire Safe Council members. One large workshop would be easier to conduct than meeting with each of the ten satellite Councils. Vicki believes this is a good idea and the meeting could be scheduled at the fire station at Diamond Springs.

Teri Mizuhara reported that she had learned that a First Alert battery operated smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector she purchased at a Folsom store was not approved by the State Fire Marshal. All such devices must be approved by the Fire Marshal before being made available to the public. She has advised the State Fire Marshal Office of her findings. Read the fine print!

Jennifer Boyd reported on the recent controlled burning. It was a very good burn but a lot of smoke. The burn was on approximately 800 acres. Weather conditions are not always predictable and excessive smoke can result. Many concerned folks telephoned but most were understanding of the need to burn. No grant or budget information available yet. Completion of project map is continuing. The map will include completed and proposed projects and those in progress.

Bob Signor advised that a new Fire Safe Council that he is involved with is forming in Outingdale and will soon be conducting advisory residence inspections. The residents along Sand Ridge Road and feeder roads are interested in developing a Fire Safe Council involving the East part of the area.

Tom Mahach reported on a biomass conference he attended at Redding. Generating plants need a guaranteed 30-year supply of usable material. The economics of the cost of transportation, collecting, availability of materials, labor, etc., make biomass utilization for energy conversion for profit questionable at this time. This may change in the future as technology develops.

There are current biomass consideration and utilization requirements for fuel reduction projects. The Federal Government has established a section to study and develop biomass utilization. Combining biomass harvesting and energy conversion with fuel reduction projects and timber harvesting could reduce costs and promote biomass program development. SPI has a biomass program. The Grizzly Flats CAP includes biomass use from material removed as maintenance of evacuation routes and fuel reduction around residences. More research is needed to determine the cost factor in relationship to the profit factor to determine the public benefits of biomass utilization.

Vicki advised that the Strategic Planning Matrix has been completed. It has grown from four pages to nine pages.

Bob Smart commented that a need exists for the small property owner to be able to legally remove large trees primarily for fuel reduction or safety without going through the very costly harvest plan permit process. Phyllis advised that provisions for tree removal up to 150' of a residence under current fuel reduction laws are available at much less cost than a harvest plan. She also advised that the market value of the trees removed might not pay for the costs of removal. Tom suggested that a cooperative effort by property owners could make the removal of a limited number of trees feasible. He believes that the existing policies and procedures for tree removal are confusing and a clear-cut and easily understandable policy/procedure should be written.

Gene Murphy advised that the Gold Bug Fire Safe Plan has been completed and submitted. It will be referred for final approval by the Placerville City Council after more internal reviews and approvals.

Bill Cave reported on the progress of CWPP and grants for Auburn Lake Trails. They are very active and everything is moving along well. Auburn Lake Trails has approved the purchase of a chipper to be used to help maintain fuel reduction in the area. A grant request has been submitted to FEMA for fire hydrants.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 3:00 p.m. Next meeting will be 11-15-05.

Submitted by Walt Tyler Secretary, EDCFSC