El Dorado County Fire Safe Council
June 27, 2007
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Gold Hill Fire Station, 6051 Gold Hill Road


The meeting was called to order by Vicki Yorty at approximately 1:00 p.m. Directors and guests present were: Mary Cornelison (Director), Janet Gastaldi (Director), Ray Griffiths (Vice Chair), Len Heinz, Penny Humphreys (Chair), Gene Murphy (Director), Fred Ott, Ed/Audrey Pomato, Bill Robinson, Jim Stewart (Director), Walt Tyler (Secretary), Pat Johnson (Director), Ken Hasse, Lorelei Soria, Sam Soria, Steve McKinney, David Jaramillo, Tobie Edmonds, Chris Dusa.

Rich Englefield requested the agenda be modified to include comments under item #5 regarding EDC maps and OES communication. Bill Robinson proposed a motion to approve the agenda with the requested modifications. Second by Janet Gastaldi. Approved by all present.

Penny Humphreys proposed a motion to approve the May 23, 2007 minutes as submitted. Second by Mary Cornelison. Approved by all present.

Penny Humphreys gave an overview of the EDCFSC BOD meeting held prior to the EDCFSC meeting. See minutes dated 6-27-07.

Rich reported a significant increase in web site hits during the recent fire at Tahoe. He displayed a variety of maps available through EDC to show fire areas and how fire staff use maps to identify fire locations, determine attacks, and predict fire behavior. Rich also advised that the OES phone tree is being opened to other public agencies for use when emergencies occur. He also stated that he is currently involved updating fire information on the web site. Vicki stated that she has been advised to alert all Fire Safe Councils to actively support Defensible Space programs. Ray Nutting added that the Tahoe fire has demonstrated that in addition to the removal brush, ground and ladder material, small trees should be removed to develop shadow thinned timber stands.

Steve McKinney reported on some of the air quality observations as result of the Tahoe fire. If you can only see to a distance of one-quarter mile, the quality of air is poor. One-quarter mile is about the length of three foot ball fields. When you can see for three miles, the air is good. Mary Cornelison spoke to a concern of confusion regarding the burn message on the burn hot line. The message refers to air quality restrictions and not to Cal Fire or local Fire District restrictions for burning. The confusion can cause residents to burn when all burning is restricted. Steve said he would research and attempt to remove the confusion from the message. He recommends that the local Fire District be contacted prior to burning. This is not practical due to office hours and lack of staffing.

Gareth Mayhead, UC Berkley, gave a very informative presentation of available technology for Biomass Utilization. Progress has been slow but steady. Much of the industry is very expensive to initiate and maintain. Cost of transporting materials to a central location is a big cost factor. Biomass Utilization is a very complex challenge and still has a long ways to go. Investors will want to know how long it takes to get their investment back, how long the equipment is expected to last, and projected profits. Environmental benefits may be easier to identify than market benefits.

Vicki reported that the Chipper Program is going. Defensible Space advisors are active. Funding for Senior/Disabled Assistance should be available during July.

Janet Gastaldi reported that Defensible Space efforts are being made to advise part time residents of their responsibility to clean up their property.

Fred Ott reported on some current trends within the insurance industry. Results regarding the Tahoe fire are not available yet.

Mary Cornelison reported of the success of a recent Firewise meeting at Volcanoville. The community is active.

Ray Griffiths continues to work on developing the CWPP for the Georgetown area.

Ed Pomato reported that the proposed Outingdale/Sandridge FSC is close to having a kick off meeting.

Bill Robinson is busy with evacuation planning for the Chrome Ridge area. Will use existing plans for other areas as format.

Ken Hasse reported activities of the Logtown area. Rich added that a need to display residence address signs is high priority.

Lorelei Soria reported of Defensible Space progress in the Garden Valley area. Every thing is going well.

Gene Murphy reported that the Placerville City Council has approved Amendment A of the Gold Bug Park Fire Safe Plan. The Logtown CWPP has been completed. Cameron Park CWPP is up for external review. Gene is to be commended for the many hours of volunteer work completing research and developing these and other plans. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!!

Submitted by Walt Tyler, Secretary EDCFSC