Lake Cushman Firewise Council

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 Firewise Meeting Minutes
Nov 1
, 2011

Opened meeting at 1 PM.  An update on Bob McCormick from Jerry Eaton.  Jerry had spoken with Pat who said Bob seemed better and is in Firlane Rehab in Shelton. 

Bill S. introduced Jim Freed, from Washington State University.  He teaches forest management throughout Washington focusing on helping private landowners.  He helps people develop plans for their property to protect forest, wildlife and value. He and Charley B. are creating a community forest program for homeowner associations .  He intends to hold classes or workshops to build interest and knowledge about our forests.  It has never been looked at for H.O.A.s and he thinks Lake Cushman could become the model for other communities.  George F. asked about homeowners who are reluctant to let anyone tell them “what to do with my own land”.  Charley gave an example of what occurred in Greenwater. Jim said a demonstration project is the best way to convince people of the benefits of managed and healthy land. A good plan is a good insurance policy against a disaster.  Jim offered to show people with a “in my own best interest” way how wildlife, trees, plants and soil can benefit the homeowner.  There are 17,000 acres of state forest just to our north extending almost to Jefferson county and Jim Freed has research areas there.

Treasurer's report presented.  After purchase of the address markers and donations our ending balance for October was $3,782.84.

New business:  Deanie S. reported on the Reader Board idea.  Costs range from $10,000 and up for an electronic sign to a bare unlighted sign similar to old one at $4800.  The most logical option seems to be unlighted unless we can secure power.  A good covered sign would probably be around $5000 if not on tall posts  Locations were discussed.  Challenges are securing funds from participating community groups and creating a system for keeping it up to date.  Issue was tabled awaiting further input from members. 

We discussed again what most people consider to be the “mess” created in the Hoodsport Trail “root rot” logging operation. In future public needs to be more involved prior to projects that impact all of us.  Ken pointed out that boards and commissions are made up of ordinary people not experts.

Charley and Bill talked briefly about the Evacuation Plan and the work still needed.  A  lot is done and few more hours could probably get it almost complete.  It is a template for groups arriving here who know nothing about the area and need to be given information quickly during a disaster.  Ken and others stated that the new Block Watch program could help dispense information ahead of  disasters, even assisting Firewise.

Reviewed the Hazard Evaluation checklist done at the McCormick's house.  Per Charley it will always be somewhat subjective, but still a valuable tool for homeowners.

There will be no December meeting.  We hope to have a class conducted by Jim Freed in January if he is available and willing.

Meeting adjourned at 2:40 PM

Deanie Sostrich, Secretary 

Firewise Meeting Minutes
October 4, 2011

Meeting began at 1 pm at the LCMC meeting room.

Attending were Rick Donahue, Bob Berger, Jerry Eaton, Bob McCormick, Pat McCormick, Donna Hellyer, Bill Sostrich, Deanie Sostrich, Ken Weaver

Treasurer reported an ending balance of $4,791.81 (after the donation by Fire Dist Auxilliary of $500.00 and $35.00 donation for an address marker).

Per Bill S.  Fire Dist 18 Chief Mike Mott has indicated Firewise can invoice the Dept. for $500 toward new order of markers and they will make that contribution.  On that topic we ordered and have received 50 address markers, plus reflective strips and 3 packages of numbers.  We have not received a bill as of this date.

Question put to group was whether to renew bulk mail permit at a cost of $190.  If we mailed over 700 pieces we would break even.  It was decided to put on hold at this time.

A second discussion centered on the best ways to inform and educate our community.  Suggestions were:

            A bigger and better reader board to be shared with other community groups.  Ken Wesver reported that Mike, owner of  Lake Cushman Grocery was opposed to the Fire Dept placing a new board.  He owns the property, but the reader board was part of his purchase agreement.  More information needs t gathered.

                        Door-t-door visiting to acquaint resident with our programs.

                        Promotion of free property assessments by Firewise.

                        New and labeled information boxes.

Completion of the emergency evacuation plan needs to be a priority during the next few months.  It was suggested working more with the Fire Dept and LCMC on that project.  The Fire Dept has the updated addresses from Mason County.  Bill mentioned that driving of every street and just observing conditions will go a long way toward the plan.

It was decided to invite James Freed from the WSU to our November meeting,  to discuss the University training program for creating a healthy community forest.  If it seems to meet our needs and will save us money we will probably want to participate.  Bill pointed out that if any grants were awarded to us, the first step would be to have a forest plan.

Members would like training on how to do property assessments.  That should be done as soon as possible.  Please indicate your first and second choices for the following dates: Oct.  12th, Oct 25th or Oct. 26th . Ken has volunteered his house as a “training” property.

Raffle drawing was held.  Charlotte Elkins drew Eileen Fisher's name.  We will decide on a date with the Fishers (and enlist George's help).

Suggestion was made to have a Firewise program for the 8th graders at Hood Canal School.  Also could invite Shelton High School seniors to complete their required community service project by participating in one our projects. 

Bill requested $25.00 to help with the Web hosting cost of the Firewise site.  Request was approved.

Deanie will contact the Mason County Journal about doing an article n our Firewise program.  Bill will do some online research into reader boards.

Meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.

Firewise Meeting: Minutes
September 6, 2011

Meeting began at 1:03 pm.  Bill Sostrich asked if members wished to change the day and time of monthly meetings.  It was decided to keep it the first Tuesday of every month at 1:00 pm.

Donna, Treasurer reported an 8/31 ending balance of $4256.81. Out net cost of  the Ice Cream Social (after donations and sales of ice cream) was $96.53. 

So far only $80.00 (plus $10.00 purchased at meeting) in raffle tickets have been sold for the “three hours” labor by Firewise.  It was decided to continue raffle through October Booster Club and hopefully be able to sell a lot more tickets.  Lorna Bergwin volunteered to sell at Saturday Golf Tournament.  After Bill spoke with Jan Anderson though, we don't know if that will be allowed. 

Address Markers: We only sold 2 in August leaving us with a total of 8 remaining.  After discussion it was decided we would purcase 50 more and put on the reflective material ourselves to save money.  We have submitted requests to the LCMC Board, Booster Club and Firefighters Assoc. for donations to Firewise.  We will also submit a request to the Fire Dept. Auxillary.

Property Assesments: Bill passed around property assesment forms for everyone to look at.  The form is quite detailed and a great check list.  Discussed the assesment he had done for lady in Div 12.  He recommended we all do assesments of our own property.  It can be an eye opener. 

Bill brought up the WSU Forest Education Program.  The director will come to our Oct. meeting.

The cost of class is quite reasonable and might be something for us to consider.  We are unsure how this  training compares with the one Charlie Burns introduced last month. That one will take place some time in October. 

Ken talked about Firewise being advocate for projects effecting Lake Cushman.  Example, the recent logging on Port property.  Many people are unhappy with what was done and the way public was misled about how it would be done.  Ken stated it is very important for us to attend commissioners, port and other meetings to give imput.  That imput could be very valuable as most boards do not get any public participation

Ken stated past weekend was the busiest “fire” weekend ever.  Because of heavy brush in many areas, it would be good for Firewise to follow up after fires with homeowners nearby.  We could make recommendations  and be a positve influence on cleaning up fire hazards around homes.

Meeting ended at 2:10 pm.

Bill and Ken went to look at property on Duckabush Drive that had a fire over weekend.

Deanie, Secretary

Firewise Meeting Minutes

Firewise Meeting an>August 2, 2011

Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Meeting called to order at 1 PM.

Members present were Mike Burgwin, Bob Berger, Rick Donahue, George Fisher, Donna Hellyer, Bill Sostrich & Deanie Sostrich.

Advisors:  Charlie Burns – DNR
Ken Weaver – FD18

Visitors Dave Anderson and Tami Close were introduced.

Bill Sostrich reported Bill Weed and George Fisher attended one of the organizational meetings for the Block Watch program, of which Tammy is a member.  Tammy reported they are at the final phase prior to launch of this neighborhood wide awareness program in Lake Cushman.  The organization is designed to provide “eyes and ears” to increase safety.  Block Watch captains will visit residents door to door to introduce themselves and the program. Block Watch wants to partner with other community groups like Firewise. Next meeting of Block Watch will be August 23rd at the Fire Station at 5 pm.For information contact Tami Close or Carlos Garcia at 877-6153 (

Treasurer's Report:  July ending balance was $4,053.34.  Through August 2nd with deposits balance is $4,148.81.

The Ice Cream Social was a big success.  We scooped over 200 bowls and cones of ice cream.  The Fire Dept. gave children rides on the fire truck and handed out goody bags including fire hats. DNR attended after coming from putting out a wildfire.  They brought their brush truck.. 

It was suggested by Deanie that the September drawing be modified since we have not been able to sell many $5.00 tickets.  It was decided and approved by vote, that we sell tickets at 3 for $5.00 or $2.00 each.  Those already purchased will be adjusted at lower rate and we will continue to sell tickets through early September.

A discussion followed about our Address Marker program.  We only have 10 markers left. We need to be certain we want to continue program as purchase of 100 will cost well over $2500.00.  The Firefighter's Association has expressed an interest in helping with the purchase, but there are legal requirements they need to meet.  We will also approach the Fire Axillary and Booster Club to see if they want to help with Firewise programs.  More discussion followed on markers and appearance and aid to Fire Dept.  Mike Burgwin has submitted letters to the LCMC Board stressing  how important the program is and Bill has asked them for assistance.  More discussion followed on where to place markers and what role personal responsibility plays.  The matter was tabled until September meeting.

Charlie Burns talked about the possible grant.  After he and Jane drove the Dow Mtn and Mt Rose divisions it was decided the 70 plus homes in Mt Rose would be the best “bang for the buck” to provide defensible space.  The prior grant request will be re-worked.  He feels he has good support and a good chance of receiving up to $150,000 in July of 2012. 

Charlie is working on the Evacuation Plan for Mt Rose including signs.  Firewise needs to get the word out .  We need matching funds.  He stated that the Lake Cushman master Forest Plan accompanying the lease needs to be updated.  

He also reiterated that the training by DNR of citizen groups to coordinate and award grants be treated as one group to lesson costs.  More to follow. There will be a statewide Firewise meeting in October in North Bend. Exact dates to be determined.

Meeting adjourned at 2:30 PM


Firewise Meeting Minutes
uly 5, 2011

Meeting opened at 1:10 p.m.

Present were Donna Hellyer, Jerry Eaton, Bill Weed, Ken Weaver, George Fisher Mike Burgwin, Mike Fain, Deanie Sostrich and Bill Sostrich

Treasurer reported June ending balance of $3853.34 with approximately $125 to be deposited.

Bill Sostrich reported  e mail correspondence with Charlie Burns as follows:

 Jane and I are working on a couple of grant proposals for Lake Cushman CWPP area to be submitted in Sept.

 Also I would like to see if Lake Cushman stakeholders are interested in participating in a WSU extension/DNR Forest Stewardship Coached Planning short course on putting together your comprehensive forest management plan? “

After discussion it was agreed that the community approach to Federal Grant monies would be something our group is interested in.  Also several members are interested in attending a course on forest management planning.

Bill indicated Charlie was using parts of our grant proposal submitted three years ago for submission in September.  DNR would mostly be focused on the north end of Lake Cushman and Dow Mtn.  Areas  we know are of concern.

Bill Weed reported that FR 24 has been re-graded and a bridge over washout replaced.  More gravel is also supposed to be put down.  He was able to talk to right person and the response was very timely.

We have 13 address markers left after the 5 still needing to be placed.  One will be placed for an owner who has a need, but not financially able to help.  Terry Brazil will contribute $20 toward that marker.  Since Firewise cannot afford to buy another 100 a discussion followed on whether to continue with program.  Ken Weaver felt most people who would buy already have or have an old marker.  It was suggested by Mike Fain that we approach various community groups to help with purchase (the LCMC, Firefighters Assoc., Booster Club and others).  Motion was made and accepted. Bill S. agreed to write letter to the LCMC . Mike Fain said from Fire Dept perspective the address markers are very important and more need to be placed even if homeowners can't or won't buy them. He also suggested we use the reader board to promote the markers.  County regulations are not specific on house numbers, especially in a private community.

Our ongoing drawing to raise donations for Firewise was discussed.  We will continue to sell tickets at $5.00 through the end of August.  Winner to receive 3 hours labor on their lot making it firesafe by team of Firewise volunteers.  Drawing in September and work to be performed before end of the month.

The Ice Cream Social will be held at Fire Station on July 30th.  It looks like we will have participation of the Fire Dept. the EMTs  and hopefully DNR.  Public can view the equipment, get blood pressure, checks and eat Olympic Mtn ice cream.  There will handouts for the children and Firewise literature for homeowners.  Deanie will buy the ice cream and supplies a couple of days prior to event.  George Fisher will handle publicity with flyers and reader board.  Cary from Fire Dept. will talk with Bill regarding the Fire Dept. participation.

Bill S. will attend the Commissioner's meeting on 7/7 to discuss the possibility of the Fire Department participating in the purchase of the address markers.

Recap of fireworks over the 4th weekend.  Security issued 5 citations of $1,000 for illegal fireworks.  It was felt most people didn't hear as many explosions in the neighborhoods as in past.  Donna reported there was a problem in Div 2 on Saturday.  Discussion of the “no fires on beach” rule.  This is from Tacoma, although a law regarding this can't be found.  Hopefully the sign and visits from Tacoma security will be a deterrent.

June 18th Stump Dump had about 20 vehicles.  Hopefully we will be able to offer a chipper day at the stump dump next year.


Meeting adjourned at 2:20 pm. 

Firewise Meeting Minutes
June 7,  2011

Meeting opened at 1 pm. 

Officers present: Bill Sostrich, president, Deanie Sostrich, secretary, Donna Helyer treasurer.

Members present:  Bob McCormich, Pat Mc Cormick, Rick Donohue, Mike Burgwin, Lorna Burgwin

Ken Weaver – Fire District 18

Treasurer, Donna Hellyer reported balance in checking of $3547.76 as of May 31st.  Several checks for deposit and an expense for numbers to be submitted in June.

Bill S. reported the first “Stump Dump” day was a moderate success, with a steady stream of “customers”  all 4 hours.  Next Sump Dump day will be on June 18th.  We will emphasize donations with a sign. Flyers will go in boxes on June 11th.

Lorna B. reported so far we've only received 19 renewal memberships.  She will contact some of last years members. 

We have 23 markers remaining (several to be installed with orders received after this meeting).  Mike B. reported that there will be a “safety” skit at upcoming LCMC Annual meeting illustrating what can happen if the Fire Dept. is delayed in finding a home in medical or other emergency.  Adequate marking is essential. 

Discussion followed on fundraisers for Firewise.  We could sell cookies at Ice Cream Social.  More discussion of a raffle  for 3 hours labor to clear/limb up a homeowner's lot..Cost of tickets to be $5.00. Pat M. will talk with Gary Knisely about selling tickets at Annual board meeting.  Donna will talk with Andersons about selling tickets at Booster Club.  Drawing could be held Sept 7th with work to be done before end of month

Discussion on the Ice Cream Social, July 30th.  Pat M.  suggested we hold event at Fire Station (indoors or out, depending on weather).  Then Fire Dept could be present for the community to see equipment and talk with EMT, etc.  Perhaps offer blood pressure checks, etc.  Ken W. suggested a joint “community” event with Fire Dept. , Auxillary, Community Connection. It was suggested George Fisher handle publicity for event. Ken will talk with Chief and Dorris about use of facility and joint event.

Fire Dept. is increasing their service levels for EMS since 78% of calls are medical.  They now have two IV Techs and have sent an additional 3 people to EMT school. Their costs have of course have increased and they have not felt they could ask for more funds via a bond issue.  FEMA  has created a way to apply for grants under a community umbrella; with benefits then in solicitation for funds, matchings funds, etc

Meetiang adjourned at 2:20 PM

Deanie Sostrich, Secretary.

Firewise Annual Meeting
April 20, 2011
1 PM

Three speakers made presentations to the attendees.  Those present were:  Jan Anderson, Gwen Gadberry, Mr & Mrs. Dave Shelley, Mike Burgwin, Eileen Fisher, Kerry Fraser, Ed Fraser, Rick Donahue, Ken Weaver, Bob Berger, Jim Mitchell, Bill Sostrich, Deanie Sostrich, Sandi Kuarstrom, Charley Burns, Donna Hellyer, Carol Murray 

Carol Murray, Master Gardener had a slide presentation and talk on Landscaping with Native Plants,  Carol and her husband are 22 year residents of Lake Cushman.  Their family has been involved in fire prevention and protection for many years.  Some interesting points were that being fire wise involves a balance of proper water, soil, sun and wind control. Native plants must be planted in proper location for them to thrive.  Bare ground is an invitation for weeds and depleted soil.  Too much bark mulch can steal nutrients from the soil.  Last year's dead plant material needs to be removed promptly.  Salal although native, can burn very hot if ignited by a wildfire.  Some of our natives don't like a lot of water. Lilacs and Mediteranean herbs for example.  A wet winter like we've had this year depletes the soil of phosphorus and potassium.  We need to replace with liquid fertilizer (5-10-10 now) or granular in fall. Tomatoes especially need phosphorus to flower (not high nitrogen). Carol recommended we check the following web sites for specific information on Western Washington native plants.  WSU Master Gardner and USDA Natives

Sandy K. from Mason County Emergency Management talked about the resources and programs available for residents.esources and programs available for residents. class="style7" style="mso-spacerun: yes">  Disaster preparedness (earthquake, fire, flood) is a major emphasis of their work.    She talked about the Global Connect emergency notification system and invited everyone to complete the form (Firewise website at FirewiseDocs). If a disaster occurs, residents will be called on home phone, cell phone or another phone.  Notification can be e mailed as well.pacerun: yes">  Information and instructions will be given. Sandy also made some recommendations on disaster preparation (for example having a NOAA radio, bolting or strapping things like water heaters, latches on cabinets, staying underneath something during an earthquake; not rushing outside )  She made many  materials available to the group.

Charley Burns from DNR showed a video of disasters (wildfires, hurricanes, floods) where evacuations were not successful.  Our roads don't support mass evacuations.  When is it better to “shelter in place” (stay at home)?  He gave some preliminary look at our 2011 Lake Cushman Evacuation Plan and the need to continue and expand work on that.  This is a plan will be used as a guide to our residents as well as Fire personnel in case of a disaster in our area.  He talked about the emphasis on campfire safety this year.  Campfires cause most wildfires in Mason County.  And obviously what each of us can do to protect our homes must be the focus of Firewise.

Lake Cushman Firewise Council - 2011

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, April 5, 2011           

Meeting opened at 1 PM

Officers present: Bill Sostrich, president, Jerry Eaton, vice president,  Deanie Sostrich, secretary, Donna Helyer treasurer.

Members present:  Bob McCormich, Pat Mc Cormick, George Fisher, Jim Mitchell, Bill Weed, Rick Donohue

Ken Weaver – Fire District 18

Treasurers report:  Beginning balance of $3,319.99 and ending on 3/31 of $3,424.99.

Ken Weaver reported that all road names have been changed by Mason County.  Most addresses also, for where none before.  There are no road signs yet on Dow Mountain and question is who is responsible for putting those in?  Fire Dept.  will contact County and LCMC about signs.

Randy Bruff the LCMC maintenance manager, came to meeting to ask about opening stump dump for a couple of weeks.  It was decided that with the changes in air pollution standards and cost of burns, we wanted to encourage more chipping of green material.  Randy reported he was working with Fire Dept. to conduct a couple of practice burns at stump dump this year.  Randy also indicated that when we hold our “chipper days” his crew might be able to saw up big logs.

Deanie reported that Mike Bergwin was given Firewise brochures for Security people to distribute to residents they speak with on their rounds.

Bill S. reported there will be a 2 page Firewise article in the May LCMC Newsletter. Among other info, our chipper days and ice cream social are mentioned.

We have 35 address markers left.  That represents close to $1,000 that could go to our Treasury if sold.  Each member should speak with friends and neighbors and also try to place in areas where there aren't any.

Bill W. and Rick Donahue looked at disaster evacuation route possibilities.  Published route information it was decided, would probably not be that helpful.  It was agreed that “exit” signs in various divisions are really needed for safety.  Bill S. will talk with the LCMC as they should be responsible for installing those.  A discussion followed about the hierarchy of command during a disaster.  Mason County Sheriff is in charge with other entities (Fire Dept., LCMC, DNR) responding. The document Bill W. has been working on will give responding agencies detailed information (to include pictures) of our divisions and will be very valuable to incident commanders.

Our annual meeting is April 30th at 1:00 PM at Fire Station community room.  It will be about 90 minutes long.  Sandy K. from DNR will speak on evacuation (Bill Weed will contact her) and Carol Murray, master gardener, will talk about fire resistant plants and where to purchase them.  Their portion will last no more 60 minutes total.  The business portion will be 30 minutes.  We will provide cookies and coffee. Donna H. and Deanie will bring cookies and if someone else can also bring some that would probably be enough.

We wrote a letter to Charlie Burns' boss about his value to us at Lake Cushman Firewise.  It was very well received and hopefully will help keep Charlie as our liaison with DNR.  Especially important was the report on the decrease in numbers and size of fires since Firewise has become active.

Bill S. announced the National Fire Protection Association is advertising for a paid part time employee to act as a community spokesperson regarding Firewise.

Jim M. reported member Bob Berger suffered a heart attack and is in St. Pete's Hospital.  He is having a pacemaker put in on 4/6 and perhaps will be able to come home by end of week.

The fire danger sign is still in the works.  Jim will buy materials and an expense of up to $250 was authorized.

The decision on our 2011 fundraiser was postponed until May meeting.  Bill S.  would like a vote on idea of a raffle of “labor to make winner's property firesafe”.  Please come with other good ideas.

It was decided that we would not participate in Hoodsport Days.

Our Ice Cream Social will be on July 30th at Kokanee Park at 1 pm. We would like to again involve Fire Dept and DNR.  Div. 9 park has more room for that type of event.

Our Chipper Days will be June 11th and June 25th.  Also July 9th and July 23rd.  No more than about four hours each day.  Chipper costs $165.00 to rent so we need at least 10 homes per day to justify.  We will publicize and ask for donations to defray our costs.

Ken suggested that when we do Home Assessments we have a sticker to give people for their address marker or window.  We have also in past, discussed a “membership” sticker.  Deanie researched and found we can create and order 3” square stickers for about 85 cents each from  Bill will create a sample and bring to next meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 2:40 pm

Submitted by secretary, Deanie Sostrich

Firewise Meeting Mar 1, 2011

Called to Order at 2 PM  by Pres. Bill Sostrich

In attendance were Mike Burgwin, Lorna Burgwin, Bob McCormick, Jim Mitchell, Joe Cochran, Bill Weed, Rick Donahue, Pat McCormick, Donna Hellyer, Mike Fain, George Fisher, Bob Berger, Deanie Sostrich and Bill Sostrich.

Advisors – Ken Weaver – Fire District 18, Charley Burns – DNR

Treasurer reported ending balance of $3419.99

It was agreed that Membership will run between January to December of each calendar year.  Dues will be $5.00 per person applying to current calendar year. 

Bill, Jerry Eaton and Charley Burns (DNR) met with the LCMC Managers, Randy, Ken, Gary Knisely, Betty Woodall and Betty Widing to develop cooperation and increased understanding of our priorities.  The LCMC was very willing to coordinate projects and provide time sheets for work of limbing up and other activities to benefit fire suppression.  In future would like to include Fire Dept input for joint projects.  The work done by the LCMC would be very helpful in establishing “in kind” dollars for Grants. Grants can use the time from the previous three years.

Disscussion of “Chipper Days” for summer of 2011.  Charley reported possible to rent a chipper for $160 per day from Gateway in Shelton.  Also he had a quote from Stymak for crew at $100.00 per day. Jim Mitchell suggested a two year trial of renting chipper to see if a purchase might be justified in future   Discussed renting vs. owning a chipper. 

Although Bill Weed located a chipper for $4,000, our charter as it is currently written does not permit owning equipment.  Was suggested the LCMC might buy a chipper and we could rent back from them or they could donate use for our projects.  As burning becomes more and more expensive and clean air regulations eliminate outdoor burning, the LCMC owning such a piece of equipment would be very cost effective. It was decided Firewise would publicize and hold 4 Chipper Days; two in June and two in July on 2nd and 3rd Saturdays.  Coordination and publicity would need to begin now.  Homeowners could be asked for a donation.

LCMC Newsletter deadline for submissions is April 1st.  Firewise pages need to include Annual Meeting on April 30th, Chipper Days, Ice Cream Social.

George Fisher reported on Polar Bear Plunge. Although good money raised for team and Dist 17.,  not much benefit to Firewise as very little “traffic” and few people to talk to. 

Bill Weed will attend next Community Connection Potluck and meeting.

Mike Fain, Ast Chief Fire District 18 will work with Charley on the evacuation plan dealing with Potlatch Cushman Rd.  Bill Weed indicated remaining divisions are ready to be included to finish plan.  

Dept. of Emergency Management has a new form to be completed this year for the “reverse 911” disaster notification plan.  That also should be mentioned in LCMC Newsletter and publicize and all public gathering. Very important every homeowner complete and mail in.

The Fire Danger Sign at real estate office is waiting new reflective letters before Mitchell builds.  Mike Fain said he could provide Jim with info on company in Union that might provide those materials.

A frewise video will be shown at the May Booster Club (during dinner).  It is Wildfire Awareness week and Charley plans to attend.  Charley said he is speaking to group in Buckely on the 1910 Big Burn.

There was a discussion of a fundraiser for our group.  Charley put forth idea of a raffle with people completing a request for assessment and then being entered in drawing for a “makeover” of their property by a Firewise crew.  Decided we would publicize in May, June and July and sell tickets (at perhaps $2.) and then winner to be selected in August.

Education mailing was discussed and tabled until the fall.  Mason County Journal would print with spot color 1500 8 page pieces for $271 + $50.  We could prepare and mail ourselves or “farm out” to D&H printing.  We would need to purchase the bulk imprint and some tracking add-on from Post Office.  Mailing pieces costs 15.5 cents or 17.2 cents per piece depending on sort.

It was suggested that our group attend Hoodsport Days and the LCMC picnic this summer.  Booth at Hoodsport Days might also be used to raise funds through sales and raffles. 

Once again it was mentioned that we need to give Security our flyers to distribute to residents.  We will get those materials to Mike Bergwin to pass on.  Charley mentioned “Keith” on Westside would also pass out information if we got material to him. 

Portable evacuation route signage was brought up with consensus that it would be helpful.  Mike Fain said a pilot car during emergencies is important.

Charley said DNR is putting together a Firewise Workshop (similar to what was done at Chelan) for October in North Bend.  He will keep us informed.

Meeting adjourned at 2:30 pm

Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meeting
Feb 1, 2011

Meeting called to order at 1 PM.

Officers present: Bill Sostrich, president, Jerry Eaton, vice president,  Deanie Sostrich, secretary,

Donna Hellyer treasurer.

Members present:  Bob McCormich Pat Mc Cormick, Bob Berger, George Fisher, Rick Donahue, Bill Weed, Lorna Burgwin, Mike Burgwin

Advisors:  Ken Weaver (Commissioner Fire District 18), Charlie Burns (DNR),

Treasurer Donna Hellyer , reported no activity in January with a balance of $3374.99.  An addition of $55.00 received on February 1st.

George Fisher audited books for 2010 and reported to Donna they were correct

The West Coast Bank checking account information was updated to reflect three authorized signers: President, Vice President and Treasurer.

Bill Sostrich, President reported that we started process too late and were not able to apply for the Urban Forestry Grant.  He recommended we start on this annual grant in late 2011.  The Grant seeks to award programs to promote healthy forests. Ken Weaver asked if the Lake Cushman Maintenance Company (LCMC) is responsible for our forest since we are on leased land.  Bill explained that according to our lease with Lake Cushman Company, the LCMC is responsible for the common areas.  A grant obtained by the Firewise Council would help us develop a plan to address the health of these large areas.

Bill reported that next week he, Charlie Burns and Jerry Eaton would attend the Lake Cushman Maintenance Company Managers meeting.  The purpose of this meeting would be to introduce and talk about Firewise's roll at Lake Cushman with the newer members of the LCMC management.  It is an opportunity to develop more communication with their crews for future projects. 

Charlie stated that we have come a long way since 2005 and how important it is for us to continue to grow as a preventative organization.  He talked about the status of grants and budgets (and only 1/3 for prior money available) for the coming two years.  With recent cutbacks, Eastern Washington will receive the majority of the funding, as it is most at risk for wildfires.  DNR statewide is aware of our area as ”hazardous”.  If money did become available Dow Mountain should be a priority.

Charlie also reported that he (with Bill Weed) continues to work on the Wildfire evacuation plan document.  There was a discussion what we could do with our limited resources to best aid the community in case of an evacuation.  Bill Weed suggested road signs.  Ken Weaver (Dist 18, Fire Commissioner) talked about the Fire Dept. lack of manpower and how they would handle a wildfire.  Fire District 18’s job is to protect structures.  “Shelter in Place” was discussed and also “Foam and Go” for certain areas. 

It was then suggested we develop maps for homeowners to post showing the evacuation route for their area.  Mike Bergwin and Jerry Eaton with create sample maps of their areas and present at March meeting.   Currently it is not possible to use Potlatch Cushman road as an evacuation route due to sever washouts.  There is a plan for that to be repaired. 

George suggested we collect suggestions from residents at Saturdays Polar Bear Plunge on how the Lake Cushman Firewise Council would better get our message out.  We will have a booth there to distribute literature and talk to people about Firewise, with an emphasis on safe campfires during upcoming season.  Lorna Bergwin, Donna, Jerry and Bob Berger will help at the booth.  We will put up banners including one of the new ones on loan from Charlie.

Bill Weed will speak at the February 22nd meeting of Community Connection.  That group is very interested in evacuation information in the event of fire.

Mike Bergwin, who is on the board of the LCMC is researching if the Maintenance company can require every lot with a structure to have an address marker.  Mason County dispatches emergency personnel by address only (and many of those are changing) and no longer uses lot numbers.  Unmarked or incorrectly marked houses can cause lost minutes.  Those minutes could be life threatening..

Bill S. reported the 501 C status has been renewed and he will file the taxes this month.  The fire danger sign near Lake Cushman Realty is going to be rebuilt and repainted by Jim Mitchell. 

There was a discussion of a mailing to several hundred residents this spring prior to annual meeting end of April.  Deanie will get costs.  Bill ordered updated file from County of addresses. 

Charlie reported Wildfire Awareness Week is first week of May.

We need suggestions on fundraisers for 2011 .  Could we have a booth at Hoodsport Days?  Also an event in conjunction with the Fire Dept..  We are planning on an Ice Cream Social for the summer.  We will publicize our Annual meeting and can promote more membership.

Ken Weaver reported that records kept by District 18 show in 2005 Lake Cushman had 55 fires.  In 2010 we only had 15 and those were small and quickly extinguished. Neighboring districts show a drop, but nearly as dramatic as we have had.  The Fire Department credits the dramatic improvement to our Firewise Community.  Our education and awareness programs are making a difference.  The department has a very successful “chimney and smoke alarm inspection” program and they answer questions and promote firewise with every homeowner they visit.

Meeting adjourned at 3 pm

Respectfully submitted,

Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meeting Jan 4, 2011

Officers present: Bill Sostrich, president, Jerry Eaton, vice president,  Deanie Sostrich, secretary,

Donna Helyer treasurer.

Members present:  Art Emmons, Betty Widing, Bob McCormich Pat Mc Cormick, Bob Berger, Ken Weaver, Charlie Burns (DNR), George Fisher 

Discussion of proposed grant application for Urban forests.  George Fisher requested more direction on the $10,000 grant application before continuing with our application and request for funds to be used for community education. Questions still unanswered and Charlie Burns will contact Sarah Foster.  Emphasis should be on answering grant priorities of establishing and maintaining a healthy forest. 

Charlie mentioned large FEMA grant that is open until February 4th.  Would it be possible for Firewise to partner with other agencies (State, tribe, Forest Service, Mason County) to get a portion of an award?  Fire Dist. 18 is not able to participate, per Ken Weaver because of the requirement of 5% plus tax for any award.  They don't have adequate funds to meet that criteria. Charlie also said he would pursue questions regarding the process for that grant.

Donna Helyer presented Treasurer's year-end report.  Beginning balance 21010 was $4075.79, ending December 31, 21010 at $3374.99.  Our several projects and the expenses for those were greatly reduced and made possible by the monies received from DNR  Fire Dist 18 thanked us for limbing up project on Standstill Dr.  Has made a big difference for their vehicles.

We need to move forward with a survey and plan for Lake Cushman in order to know our priorities for creating a safer community.  Betty Widing mentioned the possibility of one of the various agencies (DNR, Green Diamond, Skok tribe, Park, Fores Service, etc.) giving us the assistance of a qualified forester or arborist.   Since our area is so large, we need to know where to work.  Without funds from a Grant we are not able to pay for the creation of a Forest Management Plan. 

Donna brought up need to correct with West Coast Bank the signers on checking account.  All agreed that no more than three officers would be on the account; President, Vice President, Treasurer.  The names to be removed from the account are Bill Weed & Betty Widing.

Pat McCormick reported she introduced Firewise to a meeting of the Lake Cushman Community Connections group on 12/28/10.  She passed out literature and explained our mission.  She also told the group we would have an evacuation plan soon to give to the public.  The group was very enthusiastic and we are invited to attend an upcoming meeting to talk further about Firewise.

Ken Weaver asked about a work project in coming months.  Nothing was decided at this point.

Jerry mentioned that homeowners should know in advance what their policies cover in the event of tree damage to their home.

George requested Firewise participate in the Polar Bear plunge community fundraiser on February 5th.  Funds are being raised for Fire District 17.  Effort being supported by businesses and Fire Dist. 18.  We  could have a booth and pass out literature and meet people.

Meeting adjourned at 2:20 pm