El Dorado County Fire Safe Council
August 22, 2007
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Diamond Springs/El Dorado Fire Station #49
Training Room, 501 Main Street, Diamond Springs, CA


The meeting was opened at approximately 1:00 p.m. by Vicki Yorty, Executive Coordinator. Directors and guests present were: Barry Callenberger, Marge Dodrill, Mark Egbert. Richard Englefield (Chair), Janet Gastaldi (Director), Walt Graves, Ray Griffiths (Vice Chair), Joan Jennings (Secretary), Gene Murphy (Director), Ray Nutting, Ed/Audrey Pomato, Bill Robinson (Director), Jim Stewart (Director), Walt Tyler (Director), Chris Waters, Lorelei Soria, Sam Soria, Linda Colombo, Ripley Howe, Pam Fisher, Lynda Strom, Ernie Strom, Danny Gaffney, Bob Edwards, Bill Brant, Ken Hasse, Jack Wilkes, Diane Dealey Neill.

Vicki introduced Char Millar and made a presentation to recognize her assistance during past months to the administrative requirements of the EDCFSC. Char will be returning to college. Thank you Char. You've been a major help!!!

Introductions were made around the room.

Diane Dealey Neill described an event she manages called the California Forestry Challenge. The event will be held October 3 through 6th. High School students will study forestry practices and develop research reports. She expects about 25 schools to participate. The event will be held at the Pollock Pines Education Center. She needs volunteers to help. 530-672-9350 dianedealeyneil@sbcglobal.net

A correction to the July 25, 2007 minutes was noted: page four, paragraph two should read Bill Brant instead of Bill Cave. No additional corrections or additions. Motion to approve the minutes with the correction and approve the agenda as submitted was proposed by Ripley Howe. Second by Joan Jennings. Approved by all present.

Rich Englefield reported on the EDCFSC BOD meeting held during the A.M. See minutes EDCFSC BOD 8-22-07.

Ray Nutting advised that the Sierra Conservancy Grant funds might be available for project work.

Phyllis Banducci reported that $600,000 has been designated for Prop. 40 grants. Logging will start on private lands to remove trees damaged as result of the Angora fire.

Marge Shanno reported on activities within the Chrome Ridge area. Evacuation routes have been developed and brush removed to increase defensible space. A community meeting is planned for Sept. 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Gold Oak Elementary School to explain evacuation routes and other projects.

Vicki explained that technical difficulties had developed and the projector needed to display the charts was not functioning. She briefly reviewed the circumstances of a fire at Pollock Pines near her home this a.m. when a resident lost his life. She reviewed the purpose of the workshop and the need to identify future projects. The new grants will be for '08 - '09 year. She reviewed the process that has been followed for past years. EDC has been divided into 13 market areas for planning.

Absentee landlords have been identified since '03 to be required to be responsible to maintain their properties to be fire safe. Discussions have been with representatives of the Fire Prevention Officers Association and at the Fire Chief's Association regarding getting momentum to develop a weed abatement program and vegetation removal from absentee landlord parcels. A new and/or revised Fire Code is scheduled to be adopted January 1, '08. Currently there are no enforceable laws to require a landlord to remove green waste from their property. Vicki explained that some areas have established a trust fund to pay the cost of vegetation removal and if the landowner does not reimburse the fund, the costs are added to the property tax.

Vicki briefly explained the various projects that have been completed or are pending completion. She explained sources of funding through the National Fire Plan and Cal Fire. The National Fire Plan is scheduled to end 2010. There is legislation pending to assist Fire Safe Councils continue their work. Title III funds will be available for one more year. Defensible Space advice funding comes from Title III funds.

A question was asked for information on how to advise fire personnel that residences on back roads have cleared defensible space. An updated map of the area showing homes with defensible space clearing could be helpful. Roadways need to be cleared to provide for safe entry/exit of fire equipment and personnel. Vicki stressed the importance of having readable address signs.

Vicki advised that she has received an additional $8,000 to update the Fire Safe video. She asked for comments regarding the public relations publicity. There are a lot of 2007 calendars left over. A newspaper insert has support. Local community newsletters could be useful to get Fire Safe Council information to the public.

Red Flag Days were briefly discussed and explained. The process of determining the areas and length of extreme fire danger is complex. It was suggested that an informational article be made available to the public for better understanding.

Submitted by Walt Tyler, Temporary Secretary