August 21, 2006


TO: El Dorado County Fire Safe Council Members


HAPPY "FISCAL" NEW YEAR EVERYONE! July 1st marked the beginning of the 5th year of EDCFSC operations. Every year I tell our Council members that this was the best year for us so far.and each year I am right. If 2004-2005 could be labeled the year of getting our El Dorado County Wildfire Protection adopted and approved, then I have to say that 2005-2006 has been the year of our community-based, satellite Fire Safe Councils "coming of age!" I requested input from all of our Councils so I could incorporate that into my report. Well folks, be careful of what you ask for. Their responses were awesome but, since this is a summary report, I will only include their highlights in my report and you will have to go to our website to get all of the details. This is what you call chumming. Read on...

  • Board of Directors Report: Unlike many Fire Safe Councils throughout the state, we have chosen to have only private individuals sit on our Board. Our goal for the EDCFSC is to have representation on the Board of Directors from every local, community-based Fire Safe Council on the western slope. We have Directors representing Auburn Lake Trails, Volcanoville, Georgetown, Mosquito, Garden Valley, Rescue, Quintette, Grizzly Flats, Logtown/Nashville, Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills/Latrobe. Penny Humphreys served as Chair for the past year and has agreed to serve in that capacity again for our current year. She has been a source of inspiration for me personally and knows how to think outside the box. Ray Griffiths, Vice Chair, not only serves in this capacity but has given several short presentations to our Council in his area of expertise which is biology and growing things. I never knew there were so many kinds of oak trees in our county. He is an excellent teacher and shares his knowledge with us-we all come away from our monthly meetings learning something. Additionally, he will be working with the residents of Georgetown in the next year to expand their Community Action Plan into an approved Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Rich Englefield served as Board Treasurer for 2 years during the transition from "Vicki's accounting spreadsheets from Hell" to an automated accounting system maintained by Smith Maloney CPA and coordinating our independent audit with very positive results. He has turned over the financial baton to Joan Jennings, resident of Garden Valley and newly appointed member of the Garden Valley FPD Board of Directors. And last, but certainly not least, of our elected Board officers is Walt Tyler, Scribe Extraordinaire, who maintains our corporate meeting records and somehow makes sense of our sometimes "all over the board" Council dialog.
    Other members of the BOD are: Bill and Claire Cave, Auburn Lake Trails; Mary Cornelison, Volcanoville; Janet Gastaldi, Quintette; Walter Graves, Mosquito, who replaced Len Newell one of the founders of the Mosquito FSC and who passed away this past year; Allen Jaeger, Logtown FSC, sponsor of West Sand Ridge/Nashville FSC and primary author of the recently adopted EDCFSC Board Policy and Procedures Manual; Jim Stewart, El Dorado Hills/Latrobe FSC; and Lori Tuthill, Cameron Park Fire Safe Bureau. My sincerest and heartfelt thanks to these wonderful people, without whom I could not perform my duties as Coordinator. Pictures of our Board members and Officers are available on our website, as well as information on all local community-based, satellite Fire Safe Councils-we are moving out! Don't be left behind.

  • Website Update: Our webmaster, Abe Lyons of Direct Connect, and Rich Englefield have done an amazing job of updating the ever-expanding requests and requirements of our dynamic organization. Additions this year include on-line Residential Chipping Request Forms and Green Waste Voucher Request Forms. Our El Dorado County Wildfire Protection Plan is available on-line as well as any other CWPPs or Community Actions Plans that are developed for the western slope. We are constantly updating links to other fire safe information sites as well as links to current wildfire information. Also new this year is a Contractor Referral Listing. As a nonprofit organization, we cannot endorse any for profit businesses; however, we are building a list of contact information for various local fire safe contractors. We "stole" from the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County their checklist for steps to follow when hiring a contractor. If you are or know of anyone in the fire safe contracting business, you can submit your information on-line. Hits are increasing daily. If you have not done so, visit the site at and send us your comments and suggestions.

  • The graph below represents the funding received through this month (2001-2006):

    I am in the process of updating the financial reports that are on our website to reflect the end of year closing data. As many of you have probably already recognized, one of my biggest faults is in providing way too much information. Therefore, I am working on providing more summary level data and hope to update the financial and grant information section of our website within the next month. We have come a long way since our first $56.5K grant in late 2001 to form our Fire Safe Council.
  • Residential Chipping Program 2005/2006: In 2005, the EDCFSC provided services for 821 residents, removing an estimated 52,738 cubic yards (a little under 52 tons) of brush from their defensible space and documenting 13,798 hours performing this defensible space clearing. Additionally, EDCFSC helped to 8 organize community-wide clean up days and provided green waste dumpsters thereby reducing trips to haul green waste (pine needles, leaves, brush, etc.) to the recycling facility or burning these materials. EDCFSC staff collects data from our homeowners and contractors to accurately track the participants utilizing the program, and through GIS applications are able to map our progress. From the data gathered during the 2005 chipping program, an estimated 68% of the residents would have burned the material processed by the defensible space program, 6% would have chipped the material themselves, 18% of the residents would have taken the material to the El Dorado Transfer Station, and the remaining 8% would have left the debris in place. For the residents utilizing the Transfer Station, they reported an average 27 mile round-trip avoided by participating in the EDCFSC Residential Chipping program. The program was also able to prevent the pollution that would have been produced by the 68% of homeowners through burning. Thus, the EDCFSC chipping program not only decreases the risk of homes being lost to wildfire, it has also decreased the amount of air pollution produced by door yard residential burning operations and vehicle transport of yard waste.

  • Defensible Space Visitations/Inspections/Education: In 2005, 1,466 properties inspected Georgetown Fire Protection District and 673 properties inspected Garden Valley. As of June 30th this year we have completed 500 visitations (inspections) on the Georgetown Divide: Volcanoville and Quintette are completed and Georgetown should be done by the end of August or the middle of September. Additionally, 308 homes were inspected in Garden Valley as of the first of August. This program has been hugely successful in north county, and we are currently expanding the program into south county. Grizzly Flats has had an active visitation program through their local Fire Safe Council. In May, Jana Newman conducted a "Train the Trainers" workshop for all of the Councils at the Firefighters Hall in Diamond Springs. We are working very hard to better define the role of the Fire Safe Councils ( the "neighbors helping neighbors" concept) versus the public agency enforcement of the law. Toward this end, we will be holding another workshop with representatives from the satellite councils on September 8th in Diamond Springs. Space is very limited for this one so please contact me if you would like to represent a local council and then train members of your group. Using our Title III funding we have also assisted Meeks Bay in their Defensible Space education outreach program.

  • Public Education and Community Outreach: As I stated earlier, this has really been the year for "growing" new fire safe initiatives at the community level. This would not have been possible without the tools to make it happen. Again, Jana Newman reached into her ever creative mind and developed a smaller version of our Fire Safe Calendar and also made this one more generic so that we could market it to other organizations. As of June 30, 2006, calendar sales were over $5,400 for the 2006 calendar. Proceeds from this went back into our public education fund to continue our outreach efforts. As I write this report, our 2007 calendar is in the final draft stage and we are shooting for publication in early September. This year we decided to take a hiatus from our newspaper insert (did that for the preceding 3 years, people were getting too used to it) and publish a full color 8-page newsletter instead-Jana Juices come through again! We printed 10,000 copies and I am in the process of mailing the last ones out to our target communities within the next week. We have applied for a grant to continue publication of the newsletter for another 2 issues. Over the past 4 and a half years I have learned that there is no one way to do public education. You must explore all mediums and pick the ones that work the best. We participate in fairs and special events whenever possible. "Have Dog and Pony loaded into Bronco, Will Travel!" The EDCFSC will have a booth at the new Fall Home and Garden Show on October 7th and 8th.these shows are possibly our best events because people attending have some interest in their homes. Ergo "Do you know about our free Chipping Program,,et al!" Public education is our prime directive.

  • Fuel Reduction Projects: The EDCFSC received a grant from BLM through the California Fire Safe Council Clearinghouse to begin a fuels reduction project in Chrome Ridge. That contract has been awarded and will begin within the next month. We also received 2 grants from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF), Community Assistance Grants, using Proposition 40 funding for roadside vegetation clearance on west Sand Ridge Road. Requests for Proposals have been issued and we anticipate work to begin in October 2006. CDF Prop 40 grants for Mosquito Evacuation Route road clearance and Spanish Dry Diggings road clearance in Georgetown are also in process. Grizzly Flats FSC received a 2007 Forest Service grant for Evacuation Route road clearance which will compliment existing Last Chance Fuel Break grants already in place. The EDCFSC will continue to identify and prioritize projects for fuels reduction throughout the western slope through our Strategic Planning Process.

All of the growth and progress the Council has made over the past years is due primarily to our strong partnerships with our public partners (county, state and federal) and our continuing efforts to collaborate to maximize resources. No one entity or agency can accomplish all that is needed alone. While we have been very successful in obtaining funding during these very competitive times, there is still much to be done. We need to obtain funding and sponsorship for our Senior and Disabled Assistance Program that has not been funded for the past two years despite 6 proposal submissions. We also need to find other sources of income to support our Council over the long to achieve sustainability is probably our biggest challenge. Together, we are making a difference in El Dorado County. Please keep those creative juices flowing, keep the communication channels open, and know that your efforts are very much appreciated.

Thank you one and all for your continuing support-this year will even be better than the last one!


Vicki D. Yorty
Executive Coordinator


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