CALIFORNIA FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
                                          MEETING MINUTES

DATE:           November 16, 2006

PLACE: US Forest Service Fire Training and Conference Center - Sacramento

TIME:          1:30 p.m. – 3: 30 p.m. N110


The meeting was called to order at 1:48 p.m.


George Alves                                   Placer County
Jane Arteaga                                   BLM
Gail Bickett                                   Berryessa Estates FSC
Erica Bisch                                    CFSC- Executive Director
David Bischel                                  CFSC - Board of Director
Ken Blonski                                    CFSC- Vice Chair, Board of Director
Jack Bramhall                                  Shasta County FSC/Western Shasta RCD
Cathy Brooke                                   CFSC- Southern Region Grant Manager
Tom Brumleve                                   Contra Costa County
Calli-Jane Burch                               Butte County FSC
Bill Cave                                      Auburn Lake Trails FSC
Ernylee Chamlee                                CDF
Steve Chillton                                 Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
Jan Cokely                                     Santa Clara Fire Safe Council
Wende Corenlius                                Carveacre/Greater Alpine FSC
Rui Cunha                                      Placer County
Mike DeLasaux                                  Plumas FSC
Joanne Drummond                                Fire Safe Council of Nevada County
Laura Dyberg                                   Mt. Rim FSC/Inland Empire Fire Safe Alliance
Shelly Engleman                                Napa Fire Dept – FireWise
Tom Esgate                                     Lassen County Fire Safe Council
Mike Forster                                   Contra Costa County Resource Conservation District
Amber Gardner                                  CFSC – Coast Region Grant Manager
Rich Gresham                                   Placer County RCD
David Horne                                    CFSC- Treasurer, Board of Director
Jerry Hurley                                   Plumas FSC
Jinny Jablonski                                Arrowhead Communities FSC
Kent Julin                                     Marin Fire Safe
George Laing                                   Diablo FSC
Stan MacDonald                                 Placer County RCD, Director
Julie Malm                                     Office of Emergency Services
Cheryl Miller                                  CFSC- Board of Director
Ralph Minnich                                  CDF-Northern Region
John Moise                                     Alpine Meadows FSC
CFSC Meeting Minutes 11-16-06                                                   Page 1 of 7
Maria Morales                               Diablo FSC
Don Nelson                                  Placer OES
Lynn Osgood                                 Marin Fire Safe
Ellen Pollema                               CFSC Board of Director
Joe Rawitzer                                Monterey-San Benito Wildland Fire Safe Council
Steve Richmond                              Fire Safe San Mateo
Brenda Rightmyer                            CA FSC Sierra Region Grant Manager
Walter Rilling                              Cal-Trans
Caerleon Safford                            Fire Safe Sonoma
Pat Spinetta                                Mt. Laguna FSC
Deb Spurgeon                                CDF – Legislative Office
Frank Stewart                               QLG/ CFSC – Board of Director
Brett Storey                                Placer County
Eric Stressel                               Contra Costa FSC
Bruce Turbeville                            CFSC, Chairman
Jay Watson                                  CFSC Board of Director
Susan Weaver                                Shasta County FSC/Western Shasta RCD
Troy Whitman                                CFSC- Board of Director
Darrel Wilson                               Butte County FSC
Mike Wilson                                 Napa FIREWISE
Robin Yonash                                Greater Colfax Area FSC
Vicky Yorty                                 El Dorado FSC

II. Chairman’s Opening Comments
      a. Mr. Turbeville asked for a moment of silence for the firefighters killed in the recent Esperanza
         Fire. He reported the Board of Directors had just approved $2,500 be donated from CFSC to
         the Memorial Fund for these firefighters. He encouraged local fire safe councils to help in any
         way they can.

III. Agency Reports:

       a. California Fire Alliance

       Jane Arteaga from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported on the California Fire
       Alliance meeting earlier that day. The dates for Alliance meetings in 2007 have not been set yet,
       but should be posted on soon. The Alliance hopes to continue to hold
       their meetings the same day as CFSC meetings. The CA Fire Alliance Leadership group met last
       July 7, 2006, to develop a new mission and vision statement. They also started to work on a new
       charter for the group. At the Alliance meeting today the group continued to work on the charter
       with one of goals being to incorporate the needs of local fire safe councils. The Alliance also
       discussed the status of Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs). Currently there are 79
       CWPPs statewide representing 36 counties with as many as 15 in counties such as San Diego. Jane
       Arteaga encouraged groups to form county-wide CWPPs whenever possible so federal partners
       can stay involved. Lastly, Jane reported that BLM is still trying to get a budget from Congress and
       as always they are lobbying to get more money for fire safe councils.

       b.     California Fire Plan
       Ernylee Chamlee introduced herself as the new CDF Chief of Wildland Fire Prevention
       Engineering and staff lead for FIREWISE in California. She reported that Director Grijalva is now
       considered the “Governor’s Fire Chief” and he reports directly to Governor Schwarzenegger. She
CFSC Meeting Minutes 11-16-06                                                   Page 2 of 7
       also reported that fire prevention and the CA Fire Plan are very important to Director Grijalva.
       There has been some reorganization of CDF recently. The Fire Prevention section of CDF was
       originally organized under Fire Protection. Now, Fire Prevention and Fire Engineering will be
       working directly for the State Fire Marshal’s office, providing better integration between the
       departments. The new Deputy Director of Fire Prevention is David Hillman. The CA Fire plan has
       been assigned to Wayne Mitchell, and will be redone and updated.

       Another project Wayne Mitchell is working on is updating the Fire Severity Zone Maps. These
       maps are important to local fire safe councils because in 2008 there will be new building standards
       for all new construction within those high fire severity areas. California is the first in the United
       Stated to get the stricter building standards passed and they are working to get them integrated into
       the International Code. The maps will identify areas in the state that are in high fire danger. After
       the maps are complete, local governments can adopt these maps and make them an ordinance or
       reject them- choose not to require the new building codes. Maps will be organized by county. The
       maps will be available to the public at under the FRAP program later this month.
       CDF is currently working with UCBerkeley to incorporate the high severity maps into an online
       program where individuals can type in their address and pull the map for their area. Ernylee did
       not indicate when this service would be complete. The website address for the UCBerkeley Fire
       Information Engine TOOLKIT is

       Ernylee recently returned from the International FIREWISE workshop in Denver. She was very
       impressed with the conference and believes both FIREWISE and FIRESAFE are important tools
       for fire safe councils.

       c. Federal Funding Update
              1. 2007 budget

       There was no report on this topic.

               2. Clearinghouse call for proposals, workshops

       Amber Gardner reported the Clearinghouse 2008 grants cycle will open on November 20, 2006.
       There will be an email notification sent to all individuals who currently have an account with
       Clearinghouse and sent via the CFSC e-newsletter. The timeline for the 2008 grant cycle is:

       Call for Concept Papers:                             November 20, 2006
       Grant Writing Workshops:                             December 3-8, January 8-15, 2006
       Deadline to submit Concept Papers:                   February 16, 2007
       Notification of preliminary decisions:               March 30, 2007
       Applications due:                                    April 13, 2007
       Projects funded based on agency timelines

       The Clearinghouse will host nine Grant Writing Workshops throughout the state in December and
       January. You can log in to register for a grant writing workshop at Select the yellow tab titled “Grant Writing Workshops” to signup.
       The following is a list of dates and location:

  Date         Time                 Location                       Address                       County
 12/4/06       10:30            Weaverville Fire Hall     125 Bremer St Weaverville, CA           Trinity
               a.m.-2                                                96093

CFSC Meeting Minutes 11-16-06                                                    Page 3 of 7
 12/5/06     9 am- 1       Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection   193 Elks Point Rd Zephyr Cove, NV     El Dorado
               p.m.                  District                             89448
 12/7/06     10 a.m. -            Sacramento                   US Forest Service Training        Sacramento
              1 p.m.                                       Conference 3237 Peacekeeper Way
                                                                  McClellan, CA 95652
 12/9/06      9 a.m. -          Viejas Training Center            5000 Willows Road              San Diego
              12 p.m.                                             Alpine 91901-1656
 1/15/07     10 a.m. –          Ventura County Facility             102 Durley Ave.               Ventura
              1 p.m.                                             Camarillo 93010-8586
  1/8/07     10 a.m. -     Sonoma-Lake-Napa CDF Unit       1199 Big Tree Road, St.Helena CA        Napa
               1 p.m.               Office                               94574

  1/9/07     10   a.m. -      Sierra National Forest         1600 Tollhouse Road Clovis, CA        Fresno
              1   p.m.         Supervisor’s Office                       93611
 1/12/07     10   a.m. -     San Juan Oaks Golf Club                                             San Benito
              1   p.m.
                                                           3825 Union Road Hollister CA 95023
 1/13/07     10 a.m - 1    Silverado Community Center        27641 Silverado Canyon Road,         Orange
                p.m.                                             Silverado, CA 92676

IV. Presentation:
Tom Esgate of the Lassen County Fire Safe Council presented information on Biomass Reutilization.
Lassen County Fire Safe Council relies heavily on logistics and biomass utilization to keep their treatment
costs down, currently $400-$500 an acre. Managing Director Tom Esgate shared some of their techniques
and the reasons why they are going beyond Fire Safe to Fire Survivable on a landscape scale.

Tom gave a compelling PowerPoint presentation on fuel reduction activities of the Lassen County Fire
Safe Council. One of his important messages he wanted to group to remember is the Lassen FSC
collaborates with everyone, this has been the single most important factor to their success. Tom stated that
by bringing everyone together, all the parties that are involved in fire prevention in the county; they have
been able to achieve a high standard of planning and fuel reduction. Tom recommends working as much
as possible with collaborators- in fact one grant that was denied was resubmitted next year through the
Resource Conservation District and it was awarded. Then they have contractual relations to implement the

Tom reported on the Lassen County FSC county-wide CWPP plan which serves as an umbrella for many
local groups, but also includes 12 local chapters which they call fire safe plans. The local chapters
incorporate the needs of the local communities’ throughout the county. Their FSC administrative costs are
fully funded by their County Supervisor. They receive funds from the Clearinghouse and Title 11 funds as

Tom encouraged folks to think landscape scale fuel treatments=integrated management of forestry
landscapes; fire safe, fire survivable, ecological and social values. To get costs down for fuel reduction
activities- Tom recommends you have a “battle plan”, not treat property by property, but do a landscape
scale approach- get the contractors on board about this, help to do all the work efficiently.

Tom showed very dramatic pictures from a local wildfire that occurred this summer on July 16. The forest
sent many spot fires and ended up burning 1,600 acres. No homes were destroyed and there were no
deaths. The areas that had just been treated survived almost 100%- the other adjacent areas were
destroyed. He wants to be able to keep the forest for the homeowners.

CFSC Meeting Minutes 11-16-06                                                      Page 4 of 7
Tom stated the most effective way for him to sell the fire safe concept to homeowners was not by
explaining fire safe principles but by talking more on forest health. Folks respond better to keeping their
surroundings healthy and alive, and less to the fear associated with fire safety.
Tom’s presentation, as well as a copy of their CWPP, seasonal newsletters, NEPA documentation and
supporting materials are available free of charge by contacting him, He handed out CDs at the meeting
and is happy to mail more. Tom Esgate can be contacted at :

Tom Esgate
PO Box 816
Susanville, CA 96130

Q: Do you require homeowners to contribute in-kind for the work on their property?
A: Landowners that have work done on their property are not required to contribute any in-kind. They
usually do some work that helps with the project.

Q: How do you deal with Insurance when you work on private property?
A: The Lassen County FSC has its own insurance and requires their fuel contractors name them/fsc as
additionally insured.

Q: How much per acre does your fuel removal cost? How much does the local power plant pay for
A: $400 an acre is an estimate. They have six power plants that bid for their work; they get $46 per bone
dry ton, Almost 85-95% of their fuel treatments end up as biomass.

V. CFSC Organizational Happenings:
     a. Meeting format and changes for 2007

Erica Bisch reported the monthly meeting schedule will be changing to be a more targeted meeting
schedule for workshops. The schedule will be posted after the Board decides on a budget and meeting
dates. Updates will be posted at

       b. Smart Growth – Pilot Program

Erica Bisch reported on the developing “Smart Growth for fire safe councils” concept. At the last CFSC
meeting in San Diego she presented a draft concept about the relationship between local fire safe councils
and the state fire safe council. There was much discussion and idea sharing. The CFSC incorporated this
feedback into a new draft concept for a voluntary Fire Safe Council Excellence pilot program. Erica stated
the CFSC Board is still considering this concept. The goal is to perpetuate fire safe councils and help
create more active volunteerism. Erica did not have any printed documents available until the CFSC
Board of Directors provides direction on the next steps.

Robin Yonash asked if non-certified fire safe councils would be able to use the name and logo? She also
asked if there will be a fee for the use of the trademark logo? She asked Erica if Erica was providing a
recommendation to the board on the logo. Erica said she was not providing a recommendation to the
board at this time. The excellence program, if approved by the board, is voluntary.

Tom Esgate stated that this program is not any different than FIREWISE is doing right now. He stated it
was a good idea to have a common link for all fire safe councils.

CFSC Meeting Minutes 11-16-06                                                     Page 5 of 7
Robin Yonash asked where will local fire safe councils get the money to pay for fees associated with the

 Brenda Rightmyer stated that this same process is happening in the Tahoe Basin. She referred to Steve
Chilton from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency/Tahoe Basin Fire Safe Council for how their FSC
functions. The Tahoe Basin FSC has local FSC chapters that are required to pay a membership fee and
sign an 8-page contract. Steve stated that Tahoe Basin FSC chapters can build their membership fees into
their grants.

Robin Yonash asked: How are fees determined? Erica Bisch said she had no information on any fees.

Vicky Yorty stated this process is very similar for El Dorado FSC- she has 16 smaller fire safe councils in
her county. Her FSC is trying to determine what the relationship is between the various councils. Vicky
stated the El Dorado FSC serves as the fiscal sponsor for the local fire safe councils at no charge at this

Brenda Rightymer stated Butte FSC is starting to attach a small fee for providing a service such as fiscal
sponsorship. She stated charging a fee is normal in the world of business, it comes with the territory.

Maria Morales of Diablo FSC stated she is new to fire safe councils and was wondering how fire safe
councils communicate with each other. Erica Bisch stated there is a bi-monthly e-newsletter that is
circulated with current information.

Ken Blonski of the CFSC Board of Directors gave a history of the Smart Growth concept. He stated the
CFSC board has no desire to make things more difficult- this is just another stage of growth. The CFSC
Board had asked Erica to present where we are with this process and to develop a dialogue with local fire
safe councils, which has been done throughout the year.

Bruce Turbeville stated there is no blueprint to the creation of the fire safe council or the clearinghouse- it
is a growing learning process.

Jay Watson stated it has been a challenge to keep $ in the clearinghouse. The whole organization has
grown so much it is a challenge to keep the funding in the pipeline and the CFSC Board would like to
work on helping with this.

Vicky Yorty stated because fire safe councils have succeeded with developing the Clearinghouse, the
process has become more competitive. She stated the El Dorado FSC was very successful with obtaining
grants when it first started, but now they are not awarded as much. Vicky stated this is a good success
story and testament to the fire safe council’s success.

Laura Dyberg stated she thought there were two different conversations going on in the room. She stated
that according to this program the CFSC would be charging local fire safe councils to pay a membership
fee for the use of the name and logo as a means to raise money for the CFSC. She stated she does not
agree with the concept of fire safe councils paying for services that they are currently getting free of

Erica Bisch clarified that what Laura Dyberg is referring to is the “Affiliate Program” which is old news.
The CFSC staff has moved on from that based on input from local FSCs in San Diego. She said the staff
presented to the board an excellence pilot program, which is a voluntary program that needs to be
considered by the CFSC Board.
CFSC Meeting Minutes 11-16-06                                                       Page 6 of 7
Frank Stewart stated that something that needs immediate attention is the reauthorization of HR 2389.
Right now it has a one year extension on the current plan, he encouraged fire safe councils to write letters
of support to Senators Boxer and Feinstein. He also encouraged fire safe councils to look into the
Stewardship Contracting program.

Cathy Brooke stated the Smart Growth concept gives fire safe councils a structured way to help groups
grow and flourish. She is excited to know this is not about control- it is about support.

Brenda Rightmyer stated she likes the Better Business Bureau stamp of approval that may be part of the
Smart Growth- it is a great opportunity to find direction in the state.

Pat Deasy-Spinetta stated this concept is very similar to becoming a Rotary Club. She stated not just
anybody can become a Rotary Club, there is accountability for becoming one. Pat saod fire safe councils
are all accountable to each other, and the logo is something we can stand behind. Pat stated she strongly
supports some kind of structure.

Erica Bisch ended the conversation by stating the next CFSC Board of Directors meeting will be January
25, 2007, in Riverside. Erica invited everyone to attend the meeting. She stated if you cannot attend the
meeting you can email comments to the CFSC Board of Directors. Meeting room location and directions
will be posted at

   VI.     Legislative Issues

Jay Watson reported the CFSC Board of Directors is going to make a concerted effort to get some CA
state funding to be in the clearinghouse. Jay stated he would like to get money in the CA budget to flow to
the local fire safe councils.

Tom Esgate stated he encouraged the FSC to have a legislature day. He would like to see a fire safe
council legislature day organized similar to the HR 2389 reauthorization with matching t-shirts and a
letter writing campaign.

   VII.    Local Fire Safe Council Updates

This item was skipped due to lack of time.

Adjourned 3:43 pm

CFSC Meeting Minutes 11-16-06                                                     Page 7 of 7

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