El Dorado County Fire Safe Council
September 26, 2007
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Gold Hill Fire Station


The meeting opened at approximately 1:00 pm by Vicki Yorty, Executive Coordinator. Directors and guests present were: Richard Englefield (Chair), Ray Griffiths (Vice Chair), Joan Jennings, (Treasurer), Pat Johnson (Secretary), Jennifer Boyd (Forest Service), Bill Cave (Director), Mary Cornelison (Director), Ken Hasse (Log Town FSC), Ripley Howe (Sandrige/Outingdale FSC), David Jaramillo, Gene Murphy (Cameron Park FSC), Ray Nutting, Barbara Rebiskie (Forest Service), Bill Robinson (Director), Jim Stewart (Director)

Informal discussion ensued. Jim Stewart spoke about an informative workshop sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service at the McClellan Air Force Base. The title of the seminar is "Governing for Community Impact." Mr. Stewart volunteered to attend.

Introductions were made amongst the attendees.

Ray Griffiths moved to approve the agenda and Mr. Howe seconded.

A motion was made and seconded to approve the Minutes of August 22. Approved by all present.

Agency Reports:

  • Jennifer Boyd (Forest Service) reported on the recent rainfall, which has slowed the fire season. Lightening fires have occurred about Loon Lake. The Forest Service is presently reviewing fire restrictions. Presently, Stanislaus has lifted its burn restrictions. Fire restrictions remain in effect for campfires and barbeques. Another substantial rain will need to occur before fire restrictions are lifted. Workwise, they are starting to gather data regarding the spring and fall burn program and downloading the information on to their website. The Forest Service is completing its fiscal year. Next year's budget looks is status quo in regards to the fuel mitigation issue. As this was a very active fire season, huge costs were incurred. It was reported that the cost of the Exacta Fire was approximately $130 million. At this time, we still have a very active fire season especially in Southern California.
Reports from Fire Safe Council representatives:
  • Ripley Howe has begun a newsletter for all parcel owners in the Sandridge area.
  • Grizzly Flats has begun interfacing with Chief Gill regarding fire mitigation issues.
  • Chrome Ridge is progressing with mitigation program.
  • Jim Stewart (El Dorado Hills) made a presentation to the Morman Island Homeowner's Group. Their real estate is surrounded by significantly overgrown property. He promoted fire mitigation focusing on 200 feet clearing around all homes. They have money in their funds and will expend $11,000 - $12,000 to mitigate fuel load in area 41. The new El Dorado Hills Fire Chief is Brian Veerkamp.
  • Ray Griffiths (Georgetown) is meeting with Georgetown Fire Chief regarding WUI maps. Mr. Griffiths addressed Jennifer Boyd (Forest Service) regarding his concerns with WUI maps. Discussion ensued as to the current effectiveness of these maps.
  • Ken Hasse (Log Town) gladly informed the Fire Safe Council group that their CWPP was at the printer. They are involved with a hydrant inspection program with EID. Presently, 30%-40% of the hydrants have been inspected. They inspect 8-10 hydrants per week. He elucidated on the two styles of hydrants that are in their area. A number of hydrants were found to be dysfunctional, and these have been reported to EID. Some hydrants were overgrown with pompous grass, and someone will cut grass, and paint hydrants. Dana Strahan of EID has expressed interest in establishing a formal program with EID and train individuals. Blue Dot Program is the responsibility of the individual Fire Districts to designate fire hydrants in low visibility (fog, etc.). Mr. Hasse invited the group to a hot dog social on October 28 at Log Town, Station 4, from 1:00-5:00 pm.
  • Bill Robinson (Chrome Ridge) informed everyone that a successful evacuation meeting was held in September. They have completed their evacuation routes. After sending 300 letters to local residents, 60 people attended the meeting. Marty Hackett's presentation of the Angora Fire, Highway 49 was very effective and well received.
  • Executive Coordinator, Vicki Yorty, informed us that the Defensible Space Video will be updated once the Title III funds are received. Chris Anthony, CAL FIRE, will again narrate the production.
  • Ray Nutting informed the group that he has been attending the Sly Park Hills Fire Safe Council, and residents in that area are very concerned about the hills on the south side. Rich Englefield indicated there are extensive fuel reduction projects with CDF and USFS in Pollock Pines.
  • Joan Jennings (Garden Valley) informed the group that Garden Valley is between fire chiefs. Their Fire Safe Council is not actively meeting at this time.
  • Mary Cornelison (Volcanoville) is in the process of updating their local phone tree. The big issue for Volcanoville is the second evacuation route out of their area. Forestry did trimming along properties. Their Fire Safe Council continues to promote water tanks as a fire mitigation measure. Ms. Cornelius indicated that posters might be made for their area to remind residents that the fire danger has not concluded.
  • Barbara Rebiskie (Forest Service) reported on Plumas County and the Moon light Fire. She spoke of the neighborhood kids making posters depicting fire prevention measures. These posters had a big impact on the public as to fire mitigation. Jennifer Boyd (Forest Service) reported on Plumas County fire and maps depicting evacuation routes and their effectiveness.
  • Pat Johnson (EID, Mosquito) reported that Fire Chief Leo Chaloux is again acting Fire Chief for Mosquito/Swansboro. EID is presently researching fire mitigation measures regarding Sly Park access roads, which are severely overgrown. A possibility of a masticator being purchases for use in the area is also under review by EID who expressed interest in collaborating with the EDCFSC for mitigation projects to benefit the county.
  • Richard Englefield (Grizzly Flats) reported on a downhill fire mitigation project in their area. In addition, a couple of Saturdays ago a press release group, including Mark Almer, head of the Fire Safe Council, gave presentations. Mark Almer took the Forest Service and California Department of Forestry for a tour of the Grizzly Flats area. Mr. Englefield had a call from Dave from FireWise who will be writing an article on Grizzly Flats' successful development of its infrastructure due to the community's dynamic involvement. There is a possibility that this article may go nationwide.
  • Ray Nutting contacted the Mountain Democrat. He would like to get an article in the Mountain Democrat to educate the public as to the upcoming controlled burns. Five thousand acres of slash piles are scheduled for burning on the Mormon Immigrant Trail this winter. Jennifer Boyd of the Forest Service will provide maps to the EDCFSC to post for public knowledge.
  • A $131,000 grant will focus on mitigation work/Shaded Fuel Break at Grizzly Flats. The scope of work is being reviewed. A Proposition 40 match is required from CDF. They should have it under control by end of October.
  • Senior Assistance Program. Vicki Yorty will post job description for the coordinator to the Senior Assistance Program. She hopes to begin interviews the end of October. The plan is to develop a list of qualified contractors. Mountain Enterprises is willing to work on the projects, but formal RFQ's will be requested.
  • Gene Murphy (Cameron Park): The CWPP was completed about four months ago and is now in the review process. The BLM had no changes to their CWPP. It is now with CalFire for review and then will proceed to CSD. It is hoped that by the end of the year, signatures will be obtained, and then submitted for publication. Evacuation is still of prime concern in Cameron Park and under review.
  • Dave Jaramillo (Sierra Forest Legacy): Cal Fire is very receptive regarding applications for Fire Wise Communities. Presently, they are working on the CWPP process. Sierra Nevada Alliance (SNA) will be putting on this seminar regarding watershed issues in South Lake Tahoe next week. The SNA is comprised of individuals who are concerned about the Sierra region (Northern and Southern) and was formulated around 1995 by Adrianne Lawrence. It is headquartered in South Lake Tahoe.
  • Bill Cave (Auburn Lake Trails): Reported that the 2006 Title III project is near completion.
  • A Town Hall meeting will be held this evening with Assemblyman Ted Gaines. The topic is "Defensible Space Work Project." It begins at 6:30 pm with Executive Coordinator Vicki Yorty representing the El Dorado Fire Safe Council.
  • Executive Coordinator Yorty addressed various projects under her review.
    • She informed the group that the green waste dumpster project was just as viable as the chipping program.
    • Grizzly Flats had a waste dump day. Waste Management controlled the project and used two trucks to haul everything away.
    • Vicki is awaiting the update for Title III funding. We may have members from the Fire Safe council call the Board of Supervisors regarding the status of Title III funds.
    • Weed Abatement Issue. The State of California is adopting new fire codes. Districts will be able to make fire codes more stringent in their areas. Vicki wants to get a weed abatement ordinance for our District. Vicki's theory is that the smaller Districts do not have a manpower to perform such projects, and grant programs with Sierra Nevada Conservancy may partnership with us to establish weed abatement programs. The Board of Supervisors needs to be aware of this vital issue and assist in acquiring funds. The Fire Safe Council would administer the weed abatement program, as they have the infrastructure in place to receive funding and hire contractors to do the work.
    • Vicki Yorty spoke with a Coloma resident regarding evacuation plans.
  • Ray Nutting addressed the group regarding oak tree mitigation issues. The oak tree mitigation issue deals with the large parcels in the north and south areas of the county. The discussion ensued on this issue.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 3:15 pm. The next meeting will be Wednesday, October 24, 2007, at 1:00 pm.