General Meeting Mintues June 2, 2014

The Lassen County Fire Safe Council (LCFSC) convened in regular session at 6:30 p.m. on June 2, 2014 at the Susan River Fire Protection District Office located at 705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville. Officers present were Managing Director Tom Esgate, Secretary/Treasurer Cathy Dirden, and Education Coordinator Dan Douglas. Chair Dorine Blankenship was absent.

I.          Opening and Welcome: Tom Esgate chaired the meeting welcoming all and asked for introductions. Cathy Dirden gave the Treasurer’s Report.

II.         Public Comment: None

III.        Managing Director’s Report: Tom Esgate reported on the following:

Active Projects:

Clear Creek (SNC) – The post treatment monitoring is complete; CalFire Antelope crews will busy again in the near future with hand treatments; burning will be done in the fall.

Ash Valley NGR (SNC) – Cutting is complete and chipping is underway. Tom and Karl Todd/BLM participated in a field tour of the site with the BLM representatives. Cal Fire Intermountain crews are ready to begin work. First report from the new hydrological monitoring has been completed; Tom shared a graph showing the treated vs. the untreated areas, explaining the pattern shows when it rained with the treated area showing more absorption than the untreated areas. He also discussed results of the older monitoring program showing BLM’s treatment that left many more junipers showed a decrease in ground absorption vs. the LCFSC’s treatment increase.

PRCD Kramer Project (SNC) – Monitoring is complete; all slash piles were checked for live embers and were subsequently put out.

Little Valley (SNC) – The project is ready to start at any time; expected completion is end of year.

Milford (CFSC) – The cultural resource survey was completed May 30th; the final report is being prepared for clearance. Tom expects to begin by the end of June. He will do a site tour with Jim Barry/Cal Fire regarding the crew treatments. He has been meeting with landowners doing the risk assessments. Milford received $127,000 in Title III funds project work.

Janesville (RAC) – Currently identifying parcels for treatment and will begin making contacts.

Spalding – Dan will provide an update under Education Director’s Report.

 Applications/New Potential Projects:

2014 Little Valley WWUI – Grant approval was received for $255,000; the agreement should arrive this summer. The project term is for 18 months. Dan will be contacting the school in McArthur regarding implementing the Firewise in the Schools program.

Upper Pit IRWMP – South Ash Valley – The application is due in July and is a single application with multiple partners.

2014 USFWS/Partners for Fish and Wildlife – The application process is delayed as no budget has been released yet. A decision is expected soon.

2014 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) – Tom submitted an application for $500,000 for juniper treatment to include 3 years of monitoring. Grant awards will be announced August 1st and grant agreements should be ready by September 1st.

NRCS – The NRCS is offering a new collaborative partnership program. Tom hopes to submit applications for juniper reduction; the Big Valley Mill is opening and he’ll try to leverage to cut more logs. We will partner with PRCD. The initial application is due July 7th with the full application due in 1 – 2 months.

Diamond Mountain – Tom wants to meet with Jeff Pudliki/Beaty & Associates to be sure he’s on board before going forward. Beaty has some steep ground in front which will need hand work; he hopes to do a field tour and get buy-in from major landowners. There’s a Timber Harvest Plan in the area for Beaty; 3400 acres by Hwy 147 and 36 which is close to the Clear Creek project area.

IV.        Education Director’s Report. Dan Douglas reported on the following:

Spalding Community Assessment – The completed assessment was adopted by the CSD Board May 14th. The Action Plan will be submitted for Firewise for certification. Spalding’s “Green Waste Day” and Pancake Breakfast are on July 3rd, Dan will participate with information.

Milford Community Assessment – Dan is working on the assessment document awaiting additional information. He met with Rick Washabaugh to review the areas at risk. Milford’s Community Meeting is June 12th; Dan will hold a risk assessment workshop for property owners.

Firewise in the Classroom – Kits were received by Janesville, Fletcher-Walker, Shaffer, and Big Valley; Big Valley will do their program in the fall. Dan spoke with the Janesville kids regarding their important roll in the program. Dan continues to pursue funding opportunities including insurance companies, newspaper articles; contacting the legislative affairs offices for support of Title III for youth education.

FaceBook – Dan created a FaceBook page which is getting a lot of “likes”. It includes Firewise and insurance information.

House Numbering Signs – Dan reported Janesville is selling their signs but using 3“ letters on green background instead of the 4” on blue. Dan visited with the fire chief and reminded them of the understanding between the agencies and the Lassen Fire Chief’s Association to do the latter.

V.         Agency Updates.

BLM – Karl Todd reported the BLM field trip with the National representatives went very well; they were impressed with the treatment. The National Office will prepare a report for the State and District offices.

Cal Fire/Lassen – Dave Junette reported burning will be restricted as of June 1st to 5:00 am to noon only. No issues lately. Burning will be allowed until July 1st or before, depending on conditions. The hope is property owners will clean up their defensive space. A 2 ¼ acre fire occurred today on Oak Tree in Janesville. Overall, people are being very careful.

NECA Fire Prevention – The Education Committee meeting was held on May 22nd; they’re gearing up for the County Fair. Karl is preparing the Smokey the Bear Park building to be painted.

NRCS – No report

USFS/Eagle Lake – Dave Sandborg reported they’ve staffed 4 engines, the Hot Shot crew, and added 10 new staff; the Lookouts are also staffed. Ann Carlton is back; Michael Green voiced his appreciation for the work that was done during his tour.

Susan River Fire Protection District – No report

Janesville Fire Protection District – No report

Office of Emergency Services (OES) – Eric Ewing reported 2 ½ acres of brush burned quickly even though there was no wind; indicating very dry conditions and concerns for early high fire danger this season. The public is being vigilant letting them know when neighbors are out burning. The Wildland Day went well at Sierra Army Depot. Readiness crews worked a fire for demonstration. The base was very helpful facilitating the event. Plumas County will hold their Wildland Readiness day and have an evacuation center, ham radio station, and animal evacuation shelters; it will be very involved. The Red Cross practiced setting up shelters. They used a tsunami scenario; the idea is that people will be migrating inland looking for shelter.

Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) – Tom stated Mark Pustejovsky is working in Lake Forest expanding on the treatment area surrounding the community.

Honey Lake Power – Mark Shaffer reported they are preparing for their scheduled outage. He is very concerned with declining water sources, which will be an issue for all during the drought season. They have a good fuel pile right now. Tom suggested contacting the various community service districts.

VI         Other – The group discussed the success of the training at the base. Dave suggested contacting Dave Howard regarding the acreage below Diamond Mountain. They discussed the juniper treatment tests. Tom said two other studies were conducted and he’ll send out copies to those that are interested. Dan stated the article in the Lassen Rural Life newsletter was not what was submitted; however, they will allow him to send another for their July issue.

            CWPP – The MOU is fully executed and will be posted on the website.

VII        Next Meeting: The next General Meeting will held be Monday, July 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Susan River Fire Protection District Office located at 705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville.

VIII       Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 7:21 pm.