Lake Cushman Firewise Council

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Lake Cushman Firewise Council
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Next Firewise Meeting: Apr 30th, 1pm, Firestation

Firewise Meetings
Minutes Apr 2nd, 2019

Meeting began at 1:00 P.M with 19 members present

Financial Report:
   Beginning Balance: $11,909.75
   Membership Deposits: $5
  Donations: $525

Ending Balance: $12,434.75

    Emergency Preparedness: $1,577.00
    LED Sign: $138.94
    Peninsula Bank Share: $5.00

Bill re-introduced Ashley Blazina our DNR Wildfire Coordinator representative. She was hoping to have a Community Workshop in near future. Ashley said she is available and interested in sharing information and resources. She will provide a template for a flier for our upcoming May 4th event. She said very important we have an attendance sheet for that day as that will help to our annual Firewise re qualification

Chuck proceeded to give an overview of Wildfire Preparedness Day on May 4th, with “why are we doing this?” Our purpose is Firewise education for Lake Cushman and this is great opportunity to bring the residents together in a fun setting to accomplish that.

We will publicize the event through the various Facebook pages, community info boxes, LED sign, distribution of fliers, to local businesses (Nina's Cafe, Mike's Grocery, Hood Canal Market, Visitor Information Center, LC Golf Course and at Booster Club. Betty will talk to local radio station and the Mason Co. Journal to ask them to help get the word out. Deanie will contact HCC about using the Public Access Channel to post.

Event will begin at 1:00 PM with a short video on protecting your home. Will have have 3 or 4 speakers to talk about Preparedness from their perspectives: Fire Chief Mike Sexton, Dist. 18, Ross McDowell Dept of Emergency Management, Chief Saterfield Dist. 1 and Wayne Snoey, Lake Cushman resident. The format for the discussions is still being decided.

We will also have representatives from LCMC, Security, Block Watch, Firewise,

Auxiliary and Emergency Preparedness at tables to pass out information and talk with attendees.

We will serve cookies, punch and coffee provided by Auxiliary.

In addition this year we have a number of really nice door prizes lined up. A heavy duty garden cart or wheelbarrow, Premium Long Handled garden Loppers, Tabor Leaf Scoops, Fire Resistant plants selected by our Master Gardener and a Gardening bucket consisting of hand tools, gloves, safety goggles, hat, etc.

On other business Ashley asked if we'd like a visit from a FEMA team to access our proposed thinning and trimming projects. That suggestion was welcomed. She wants DNR to showcase all communities showcased through Twitter and Facebook as a means to share ideas and information. Bill discussed again how important it is for us to keep track of our progress through Time Sheets, recording stump dump, meetings, events and all labor performed by residents on their own lots. The form will be revamped and distributed in a week or so. Requirements for certification has changed for 2019 to 1 hour per resident. In our case that amounts to 1900 hours per year.. Bill asked if DNR might have grant funds this year. That is uncertain at this time but Ashley did indicate she would look at possible sources of funds.

Community for Fuel Reduction with Mike Morrison reporting clean up removal project to take place April 6th, weather permitting, on the access road to where dog park will be located in Div 10. Mike said anyone doing greenbelt cleanup needs to get a waiver from LCMC.

Also discussed was how to better connect with more people in summer when we have such a huge influx of part-timers and visitors. Also a discussion on the importance of securing back-up from Skokomish Tribe and ways PUD 3 also support.

Good news reported by Bill. Our neighbors Carlos Garcia and Tammy have donated $500.00 to Firewise. We thank them heartily and will make good use of the money.

Chipper Day will be May 28 & 29th, followed the next weekend by the second opening of Stump . First Stump Dump will be April 13 and 14. We need to reserve chipper by middle of April from either Lew Rents West or Toziers . It was suggested we have a chipper at stump dump.

Bill has followed through with conversations with Mike Sexton and L & I about liability insurance for our volunteers and will have more to report at next meeting.

Brief discussion of the Emergency Evacuation written plan and how all agencies coordinate including CERT teams.

The Ice Cream Social this year will be help August 10th at Kokanee. We will once again invite the Windjammers for Entertainment and serve Olympic Mtn. Ice Cream. Auxiliary will sell hot dogs, etc. Betty will reserve Gazebo.

Meeting adjourned at 2:45 PM

Firewise Meetings
Minutes Mar 5th , 2019

Bill Sostrich called the meeting to order at 1 pm.

There were 22 people signed in at the meeting.

Financial report:
Beginning Balance: $11,805.66
Deposit Dues: 55.00
Kroger/Fred Meyer: 28.77 Amazon Smile: 20.32
Ending Balance: $11,909.75

Emergency Preparedness: $1,577.00
LED Sign: 138.94
Penninsula Bank Share: 5.00
Everyone was encouraged to enroll in the Fred Meyer and Amazon Smile programs (and pony up $5/year for dues).

Discussion about the structure of our last meeting with the sub-committee breakouts. Everyone was pleased with the engagement and direction of our groups.

Need a plan for the May 4 Wildfire Preparedness Day: The various ideas presented were panel discussions, speaker presentations, a Firewise Video, etc.   Decision will need to be made in Apr meeting.

DNR Area Assessments will probably be after April 1. Fuel Reduction Committee will need to provide Ashley Blazina a priority list for community assessments, probably based on our past 2005 assessment risk scoring. Dick Krase will facilitate.

Bill presented an overview of structure defense and evaluation. Very important that members of the community understand what they can do to prepare their properties before a wildfire event.
Mike Sexton and Joe Cochran provided input on the importance of addressing duff accumulation to minimize the danger of creeping ground fire. Crown fires are over quickly, but ground fire is a more insidious risk.

The Fuel Reduction committee reported that potential demonstration program sites have been identified in Divisions 10 and 1. Aaron Nix described the process to establish a broader Forest Management Plan for the greenbelts that will include official approval from Mason County and other agencies. This will take as much as a year, but will avoid continual permitting delays and expense. Though difficult to accept the delay, this is important to be as affective as we can possibly be.

The Education/PR committee submitted our application for May 4. NFPA Widfire Preperaration Day and $500 Grant.  Total votes for our project were 928, making Lake Cushman a real contender for the grant.

Chuck Lucas will pen an article for the Spring LCMC Newsletter.

Rustie Milam indicated she has substantial grant-writing experience and is pursuing several opportunities.

Dick Krase Secretary

Firewise Meetings
Minutes Feb 6 , 2019

Meeting was called to order by Bill Sostrich at 1300.

In introducing the Treasurer’s report, Bill reminded the group that there are two easy contribution options for Firewise where by virtue of your purchases, these vendors donate funds to Firewise: Amazon Smile Fred Meyer Rewards

Treasurer Report:
Beginning balance (December, 2018) $10,760.66
Deposit Dues $45.00
Deposit Emergency Preparedness $1,000
Ending Balance $11,805.66

Sub Accounts:
Emergency Preparedness $1577.00
LED Sign $138.94
Savings Acct Balance $5.00

Bill reminded everyone that we do have a membership fee of $5/year.

Bill asked for a volunteer to take over the LED Sign updating at the Lake Cushman Store. It is a simple computer program. Rustie Milam volunteered to take this over.

Bill proposed changing the monthly meeting schedule to the first Tuesday at 1300 (1pm) instead of Wednesday. There were no objections.

Bill has been communicating with Ashley Blazina and Charlie Burns of DNR regarding updating the Firewise Assessment that was done in 2005. We are still trying to determine how we will proceed in completing the Assessment.

Chuck Lucas provided the short film, “Your Home Can Survive a Wildfire”. Well received by the audience and a great segue into our breakout groups.
Before the breakout groups began, Bill and Chuck pointed out that Wildfire Preparedness Day is scheduled for May 4. There is a $500 grant available, but application will have to be made ASAP.

Breakout groups were convened for:

Education and Public Relations Committee
Committee Chair - Chuck Lucas
Members - Mike Murray, Deanie Sostrich, Betty Widing, Carl Parker, Shyloh Wideman

There was a discussion regarding the May 4th Wildfire Preparedness Day and process to apply. After the meeting an application was made to put Lake Cushman Firewise Council in the running for a $500 award. The process involves all in the community voting (daily) to show our support for the project.

A side project that will include Firewise is being done by Shyloh Wideman. He is working on a community wide website. One very important piece of that will include a calendar for all Lake Cushman organizations to publish their events.

In the coming months, more Firewise education on the LED sign at Lake Cushman Grocery. Firewise will also provide a list of upcoming events in the spring news letter.

Mike Murray will be getting 2 different styles of bright vests for the group to approve at next meeting. We will then have the them imprinted with Firewise logo. We will have to decide on quantity to be ordered.

In the Spring Firewise will again be places Firewise brochure's in the Information boxes (by each of the mail boxes at the entrance to the various divisions)

Fuel Reduction Committee
Committee Chair - Dick Krase
Members - George & Judy Lavigne, Mike & Colleen Morrison, Bob Berger, Rustie Milam & Larry Hutchings

Chipper Days

  • Stick with traditional schedule (week following the Memorial and Labor Day holidays

  • Signups fill up in 10 days after advertisement (work with Education & PR Committee)

  • Daily capacity is about 15 lots per day – can do 2 consecutive days

  • Make sure a Firewise timesheet is received from every lot owner requesting chipping

  • Chips can either be left at the lot or taken by the chipping crew

  • Dick Krase will distribute the Event Profile to the group

    Stump Dump

  • Dick Krase will request from LCMC it needs to be open at least 3 times per year

  • Make sure we collect Firewise timesheets from those bringing material to the Stump Dump

  • Could LCMC or Firewise provide a chipper for the material to avoid burning?

Demonstration Projects for Fuel Reduction

  • Mechanical (e.g. Feller Buncher with leave trees marked)

  • The flat ground in Divisions 10 and 12 would be ideal o Possible joint project between LCMC and Firewise

  • Neighborhood Groups, especially in greenbelts with creeks or difficult terrain o Possibly employing inmate crews to bring material to the roads

  • Will need to schedule these crews ASAP o Rustie Milam will find a good area in Division 1 Mike & Colleen Morrison will find a good area in Division 10 (not overlapping above)

  • Inmate Crews o Low cost for L&I, etc. o Security officer plus up to 9 inmates o Weekday operation o Requires a Firewise supervisor to guide the work

  • Education/PR Committee will put us in contact with a photographer or videographer (drone?) to document the process and the before/after results for promoting additional projects.

Emergency Response Committee
Anita Floyd – Committee Chair
Members - Ray Manard, Neil & Gillian Rampley, Jim Crawford

  • Firewise day, May 4th. - We will have a booth to put up and brochures to hand out. I have the pop-up display and signs from past events.

  • Fire pits- We will take pictures of various fire pits and show good ones and bad ones. This isn’t actually our assignment, but we got off on them because of the fires discussion.

  • Communication - Ray is going to pursue the radio issue with the county communications officer. We want to purchase a radio and possibly high end walkie-talkies.

  • Boat owners - We want to develop a list of potential boat owners who could assist in a time of need.

  • CERT - Set up another CERT basic class. Dates are set for May 10/11 and 17/18. Celso Rangel will be our instructor.

  • Red Cross - Mike Murray is setting up additional interfaces with the Red Cross.

Meeting adjourned at 1430

Firewise Meetings
Minutes Jan 9 , 2019

Fire Station, District 18, Community Room

Meeting began at 1:00 P.M. with 25 members and visitors present.

First order of business was selection of officers for 2019.
Nominated, moved, second, approved by voice vote were the following:
Bill Sostrich, president
Joe Cochran, vice president
Jim Crawford, Treasurer
Dick Krase, Secretary

Treasurer reported a forward balance Sept 2018 $10697.19 An ending balance for December 2018 of $10760.66
Sub accounts (included in balance)
Emergency Preparedness $577.00
LED Sign $138.94
Savings $5.00

Emergency Preparedness committee received a generous donation from the Lake Cushman Booster club of $1000.00. That amount will be added in next report. Jim also encouraged everyone to take advantage of donations made through Amazon Smile and Fred Meyers. All you have to do is designate on their web sites. Spread the word. The dollars add up.

Bill gave a presentation about Firewise at Lake Cushman.  A background of its start here and it's importantance in our community.  Also Bill showed a portion of a video dealing with the characteristics and misconceptions of wildfires. This video can be seen on the Firewise website, titled, "Wildfire-Preventing Home Ignitions"(19 min)  He reiterated the need to update our Community Wildfire Protection plan.

Bill introduced our representative from the Department of Natural Resources, Ashley Blazina who spoke about how the agency would be working with and assisting us as much as possible.

It was decided to form three independent committees to work on our pressing issues. Members have offered to head up each, and will need people to join and contribute to our efforts. Those committees are: Emergency Response-Emergency Evacuation , Chair Anita Floyd Fuel Reduction, Dick Krase, Education and Public Relations, Chuck Lucas. Noted: some Community groups fit with these efforts. For example, Block Watch ties closely with Emergency Response.

National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) the umbrella agency for Firewise has new requirements for qualifying as certified Firewise Community. More documentation will be needed. The per dwelling unit requirement has increased from $2 to $24.14. This will mean we will need more documention (Timesheets) submitted for fuel reduction efforts by homeowners and groups. It would only take one hour per dwelling, which everyone does. The difficult part is to get lot owners to report work.  We need everyone to report not only fuel reduction efforts but also their time spent at special events, meetings and committee work; all which will help us reach the new goals this year. Every one of us needs to be an ambassador and talk to our neighbors. Face to face interaction is always effective. Bring someone new with you to every Firewise meeting . There are many who just need to be invited.

Fire Chief , Mike Sexton indicated the Fire Department would like to partner with us to do Homeowner Assessments.  It is another opportunity for spreading the word with positive education.  Esentially when Firewise does an assessment, the Fire Department would join us and give lot owners further information from a fire department prospective.

Other discussions and suggestions followed. Shyloh Wideman presented an excellent draft for Firewise priorities covering our value, status infrastructure, goals, benefits and potential partners. This document will be very helpful as we move forward this year.

A summary of other comments, ideas and suggestion:
Mike Sexton -There might be a way to reduce our liability when using volunteers for projects under the "Fire Prevention" mandate for the Fire Dept.
They are also moving forward on new technologies that will benefit community.
He is working on the problem of access to Potlatch Cushman Rd during an evacuation. Several owners and agencies are involved.

Aaron, General Mgr of LCMC -He's been talking with a company who does work for Mason Co.and uses huge equipment to chip and clean up. They might be able to assist us if we get grant to do big projects in Greenbelts.
He is also talking with Mason County about costs of disposal of large amounts of vegetation as at our Stump Dump or major clean-ups.
Hood Canal Communications is now doing the work on extending cable to north end of Lake Cushman. There will also be a Hot Spot at Division 3 Park

lt was suggested we have more presence in the LCMC Newsletter coming out this spring. Also include more explanation on our Volunteer Time Sheet.

Jim Crawford indicated Security now has a defibrillator in their vehicles.

 Meeting adjourned at 2:50 P.M.