Isaiah 6:8 "SEND ME!"
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
PICTURED ABOVE IS THE OAK FIRE WHICH BURNED NW OF WILLITS, CALIFORNIA.
AS OF NOON, SEPTEMBER 9, 2020. The temperature today in Fort Bragg is 60 degrees,
the air quality moderate with some haze and the sky is a grey color.
People are on edge, but going about their business. There are lots of RVs
and campers in town - some refugees from the inland heat, smoke and fire.
The usual idiots are on the road, speeding around with glaring lights like
rabid rats navigating a maze. There are several people parking along the
shoreline who have lost their homes. Let us extend a helping hand and
BE KIND - BE GENEROUS - BE HELPFUL.
(Photo Courtesy Ken Porter / Press Democrat Newspaper)
OAK FIRE 100% CONTAINED 1,100 Acres Burned
AIR QUALITY PROJECTIONS: Moderate Sept 15,
For AIR QUALITY in FORT BRAGG, CA SEARCH: https://fire.airnow.gov/
Animal Evacuation Center
Ukiah Animal Shelter (Small) 298 Plant Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
YOU OWE IT TO YOUR PETS TO HAVE A PLAN AND KEEP THEM SAFE
CLICK HERE - Fire Fighters Rescues Animals
CLICK HERE -
MIRACLE: TV Reporter Rescues Chickens
CLICK HERE - HEY SHORELINE RODEO PEOPLE
TAKE A LESSON FROM COWGIRL 911
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FORT BRAGG SOUTH MAP.
Fort Bragg South boundaries include State Hwy 20 on the north,
State Highway 1 on the west, Road 409 at Caspar on the south and Road 408 through the forests on the east.
Evacuation routes exist along 408 to Hwy 20, Simpson Lane and the anticipation of Mitchell Creek Road
through Jughandle Forest to Gibney Lane.
Find out about our neighborhood fire safety opportunities - ask
questions - receive answers. You deserve it - its the lives of your
loved ones (people & pets) and your property that is at risk. No
one should tolerate being bullied or marginalized by anyone!!!
GET INVOLVED - Much Groundwork has been accomplished in the past year.
The 2020 Wildfire Season is upon us and it is a time for ACTION and COMPLETION.
Fort Bragg South FSC needs a action Oriented Group of 10 Fresh Solution Oriented
Volunteers to Assist the Current Members of the Fort Bragg South Fire Safe Council
for Weekly Meetings and Initiating Projects including GRANT WRITING - ACQUISITIONS,
Emergency Exits and Evacuations from neighbors escaping down Simpson Lane,
Mitchell Creek and Franklin Road to safe staging areas, EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION
with Ham Radios and Walkie Talkies, Fuel Load Reduction and Chipper Days, a New
and Excellent Built Out Website, FUND RAISING, and Networking Resources, Information
and Ideas with other Fire Safe Councils. Utilizing ZOOM we can host weekly - even
daily check - ins and meetings with our neighbors and cover all of the above.
A model Fire Safe CounciL we can learn from is Sherwood Firewise Fire Safe Council
at https://www.sherwoodfirewise.org/ in Willits at Brooktrails. They received a grant
for $447,000 BECAUSE THEY APPLIED FOR IT !!!, while others turned the opportunity down.
They also have a excellent website, great communication among members, and have begun
work on a safety perimeter around the whole Brooktrails Neighborhood.
Let LOVE be our reason and REMEMBER - ACTION ACTION ACTION !!!
HERE IS THE SCOOP
ON THE COMMUNITY CHIPPER PROGRAM
UPDATE JULY 1, 2021,
Welcome to the Mendocino County Fire Safe Councils (MCFSC) 2021
Community Chipper Day Program. A Chipper Day is when the MCFSC, individual(s)
or a neighborhood group organizes multiple homes or properties in the same area
to do defensible space and/or roadside clearing projects and we arrange to have
a chipper crew come chip all of the limbs and brush and either scatter or haul
it away, which significantly reduces the cost and labor involved in making your
neighborhood and home safer in the event of a wildfire.
Currently (as of 1 July 2021) the MCFSC has funding from PG&E
for a number of chipper days around Mendocino County.
Also, in August of 2021 the MCFSC received $650,000 from Mendocino County
that will enable them to organize a number of chipper days throughout
the county. That will start with a chipper day in Hopland (in thanks
to the Hopland Fire Department that has graciously stored the chipper)
A team of four from the Hopland Rancheria with equipment and the chipper
will be doing Fuel Load Reduction and defensible space clearance
around homes of senior or disabled citizens who require help.
If you are interested in having a the team come to your home with
the chipper please contact the MCFSC at email@example.com.
HERE IS THE NEW VEMEER BC1000XL CHIPPER THE MENDOCINO COUNTY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL HAS PURCHASED
It is capable of chipping tree trunks of up to 12 inches in diameter.
For a bit more of an orientation check out this video from the
Vemeer Company on the BC1000XL.
Demonstration Vemeer BC1000XL
One of the MCFSC project partners is Family Tree Resource - FTS
Here is a Demonstration Video From Family Tree Service (FTS) To Homeowners for Chipper Days
Family Tree Resource (FTS) is located in Willits at
115 S. Main, Willits, CA. 95490
Telephone 707-984-6629 Fax# 707-984-8246
Email President Tanya Musgrave
Their website at www.familytree-service.com
THERE IS A NEED FOR AT LEAST TWO NEW NEIGHBORHOOD
CONTRACTOR / FUEL LOAD REDUCTION TEAMS WHO LIVE IN THE
FORT BRAGG SOUTH FSC REGION (See above MAP) FOR ONGOING GRANT WORK
If you are a tree service or contractor with fuel load reduction
experience and equipment including a truck capable of towing a large
chipper, have a 500 gallon water tank on a truck or trailer, a million
dollar liability insurance policy, 2 person traffic crew, and
experienced chain saw and chipper operators; then you may want to
apply for Fire Safe Council Grant Opportunities. Download this PDF
Request For Proposal (ROP) file and Apply - ACTION, ACTION, ACTION !!!
Mendocino County Fire Safe Council ROP
If you are interested in scheduling a
Begin canvassing your neighbors to see if there is sufficient
interest. The chipper crew will put in a full day. To be efficient
we are looking for projects that can produce about 40 pickup truck
bed sized loads of material to be chipped. According to Scott Crotty,
new director of the MCFSC; "Realistically we should be able to chip
about 20 pick-up truck loads per day moving from neighbor to neighbor."
(If your group is smaller let us know and we will see if we can combined
your neighborhood group with another one to put together a full
Select a neighborhood
project leader to begin working with the MCFSC work on scheduling
your chipper day. We will typically require at least a months lead time.
Begin collecting Landowner Access Agreements (LAA) from each property
owner where chipper piles will be located. We will need them on file for
the chipper crew to be able step into the property to remove your piles.
Mendocino County Landowner Access Agreements
Chipper Day for your neighborhood here are the steps:
Prepare a map of planned chipper pile locations.
Select and help train project brush pile inspectors as well as making
sure that all participants obtain basic education about proper pile preparation.
Arrange for taking before and after photography in GPS-marked locations.
Establish a practice for documenting neighborhood volunteer labor hours
MCFSC Individual Volunteer Work Record
Consider also organizing work parties to help any of
your neighbors who cannot manage their own clearing effort. The safer
your neighbors home is, the safer yours is as well. If you would like
to arrange for one day accident insurance for your work crew the MCFSC can
help with that as well. If desired MCFSC can help present the project at
a meeting of your neighborhood group.
What Makes a Good Chipper Pile?
Some of the basics of a good chipper pile are provided below. When you
start working on a Chipper Day in your neighborhood we will provide a more
detailed list of requirements. For now, here are some basic things to know:
Brush must be clean of metal, rock, or other debris that may damage
equipment or pose a risk to operators (bulldozed or machine stacked piles
cannot be processed)
Individual piles should be no larger than one large pickup-truckload
in size and no taller than five feet.
Piles should not include any metal, roots or stumps, poison oak,
oleander, vines, spiny plants, roses, blackberry, broom or gorse,
or other known invasive species, rakings or pies of needles,
leave or grass, construction type wood or fence posts.
CHIPPER DAY BRUSH PILES GUIDELINE
Piles should be near the road or drive, accessible to the crew and not
on a steep slope , with cut ends should face in the same direction,
toward the road;
If possible, brush-cutting should occur within a few days of Chipper Days,
for easier chipping and reduced fire risk from piles sitting out on roadsides;
Crews should never be interrupted or distracted while working;
Landowners may choose whether chips will be removed or left onsite
(unless invasive species are detected in a chipper in which case all chipped
material will need to be hauled away). If your pile does not comply with the
above guidelines it will not be chipped and you will be responsible for disposing
of the unchipped material. Residents are requested to document all hours spent
and dollars expended during meetings, buying equipment, working around their homes,
or paying others to clear defensible-space brush. Some of our grant funding
requires a match donated by community members, making continued funding possible.
It should be noted that this CHIPPER PROGRAM is Mendocino County wide;
however this website focuses on FORT BRAGG SOUTH (See Map Link Above) and particularly
SIMPSON LANE, where there is currently only "ONE WAY IN - ONE WAY OUT" -
a heavily populated rural neighborhood with the potential for a WILDFIRE DISASTER
such as what happened in Paradise, California where 85 people died and the town
and the economy were destroyed. Let us cooperate and collaborate to prevent this.
Let our motto be "not one hair singed".
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE
Paradise Fire Disaster
Food For Thought - Biggest Little Farm Wildfire
NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM: REBUILDING PARADISE
TO CONTACT NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZERS YOU CAN CALL or EMAIL:
Anna Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Simpson Lane - Mitchell Creek Road area or
Robert W. Matson for the Turner Road area of Fort Bragg at Voice 707-522-0550,
Cell 707-813-1206, Email: Robert@northofsf.com
Other neighborhood organizers can be listed here if they contact the
Webmaster Robert W. Matson at Robert@northofsf.com
TO CONTACT SCOTT CROTTY or HIS ASSISTANT BOBBI at the
Mendocino County Fire Safe Council
410 Jones Street, Suite C-3, Ukiah, CA 95482
Office/Voice Mail 707-462-3662
OR Scott Crotty at 707-489-5985
Mendocino County Fire Safe Council you can call or write:
15 MAY 2020 UPDATE FROM ANNA GARZA
GIBNEY LANE UPDATE : from Alex Leonard / Battalion Chief / CAL FIRE
Alex Leonard Battalion Chief
Work has been happening on the emergency ingress road over the last couple
of weeks, but is slow going due to training requirements of bringing on our
Firefighters for the summer and road conditions. We have started working off
of the Gibney side now working towards Mitchell Creek, however the road is still
too muddy to get a chipper in there so all of the brush that has been cleared is
in the middle of the road. Once we get things completed on that side, we will
need to go back to the Mitchell Creek side for maintenance. The goal is to be
completed as soon as possible, but it is all dependent on weather, incident
activity and possible budget constraints due to the pandemic. With that being
stated, it's still my direction to have personnel on the project 3 times a week
as much as possible. We have our second round of hiring next week so nothing will
happen, however, that means Woodlands Station will be open and that Engine
Company will then be able to assist.
CAL FIRE - Mendocino Unit Fort Bragg Battalion
PEARL DR: Update from Fort Bragg South FSC Member Anna Garza
From last fall/winter where we left off was a walking tour in November
of Pearl Dr with a small group of us, one of the property owners along
Pearl Dr, Supervisor Gjerde, and Fire Chief Orsi to review the driveway
and what might be needed to create secured emergency ingress/egress there.
At that time we agreed that it might be possible to remove the existing gate
and berm and ask the County to install a new forest service quality gate with
signage near the old one but not one the same spot. We would hopefully have
agreement with the Pearl Dr property owners who have mutual easement on that
portion of our proposed emergency access driveway.
Our next step for everyone's assurance was to ask the County to draft
an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for signature by those property owners
and the County. We have seen a similar one being worked on for the BrooksTrails FSC.
There was a conference call in December with County council regarding this and
other fire safety issues countywide, not just Mitchell Crk. I have tried to track
if this MOU is happening with the County, or if not, what else should we do instead.
To date I don't believe we have any movement on this. Of course, we had the winter
months when everyone relaxes, then March - a pandemic, and now we have high
priorities that are taking precedent. If any of us hears news on this front,
please share out with the FSC. (if you send me a note, I have the list serve
and can share out.)
GRANTS: Update from Fort Bragg South FSC Member Anna Garza
There are lots, and lots of grants for fire safety from all sorts of entities.
The problem is finding one that has as it's funding purposes, our needs.
When we did the risk assessment with the group (approx. 70 attended, 23
assessments submitted to us) that attended our program at Caspar Com Center
last April the top needs identified by those individuals or families were 1.)
fuel reduction but also 2.) emergency access & maintenance of emergency routes.
I have a small amount of time that I can put toward this so I hope others would be
involved. I am concerned about going for a grant and getting neighbors buy-in as well
as if we were to get funded, who will administer the grant and track and document
Match, which will surely be attached to any funds we might receive. So it's up to
you or other neighbors - do we want to continue to pursue this? You can be thinking
about that - in the meantime I will try to get more info and then we can all decide
if we want to go forward, and how do we do that.
I believe the California FSC grants application is due in June or July
for a funding cycle of 2020-21. When Diana and I attended that workshop last
spring we learned we would need to submit a project summary to the Mendocino County FSC
to submit and also act as fiscal agent. I will check into that next week, let you all
know what I find out, but again, I would not go forward without your approval
In the little bit of grants searching we've done we found that CAL FIRE has
Local Fire Prevention grants. These might be more in line with our goals from the
risk assessments. They just awarded 55 grants grants statewide in March so I'm guessing
the next grant cycle won't be for awhile yet. But, I can check on that and send
you that info as well.
Hope you are all well and not too stir crazy. As I talk with friends and family
in other parts of the county I realize how fortunate we are to live in this
beautiful place. It helps keep up morale.
Best wishes, Anna Garza / May 15, 2020
How are we doing on emergency access issues? Get updates.
Supervisor Dan Gjerde, Fourth District
Contact Ukiah: 707-234-6046 Fort Bragg: 707-961-2696
Fort Bragg Fire Chief Steve Orsi 707-961-2831.
Alex Leonard, Battalion Chief CalFire Mendocino Unit
Contact at 802 North Main, Fort Bragg 707-964-5673.
Get help with Defensible Space on your property. Fire Safe Grants,
application & tracking process, improving your home's insurability & defensibility.
Complete a Risk Assessment.
Q & A, Wrap Up, Announcements . . .
HERE IS A UPDATE
OF FortBraggSouth FSC PROGRESS AS OF AUGUST 5, 2019
Some of you or other neighbors have asked how things are going on our access road
issues and the grant seeking process. Since we last met on June 19 it has been slow
progress, partly because I think some of us have been traveling, vacations, house guests,
and just needed a break. I know I have been busy with all of those and so has Michelle.
I’m sending out this post to the FSC as an update; please feel free to share with other neighbors.
EMERGENCY ACCESS: Conversations are happening with the Pearl Dr. property owners.
This is taking time, especially as the largest property owner does not live in this
area so contact is not easy. But I know that Supervisor Gjerde has had conversations
with that property owner in the last two weeks. We are seeking agreement to go forward
from all with easement on the portion of road to be gated and improved. Also, back and
forth conversation is happening at the County offices to better clarify details of the
roadwork and how it will be accomplished. I know this is all slow going but I think progress
is being made given that until this spring we didn't even know Who those property owners
were and no one was talking to each other. Now we are talking.(Note from webmaster
Robert W. Matson - A meeting between Fort Bragg Fire Chief Steve Orsi, Mendocino County
Sheriff Tom Alman and Pearl Drive property owners Scott Zeramby (Dirt Cheap Nursery
owner) and Brian Choi (owner of the property where the berm is) has initiated some
progress in opening up an evacuation route through Canyon Drive. However, the road would
only be usable to emergency vehicles and fire trucks unless a life threatening
wildfire emergency would occur - then the general public.)
UPDATE ON MITCHELL CREEK - GIBNEY LANE EMERGENCY EVACUATION ROUTE:
from CalFire Chief Alex Leonard: "The CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act)
Review for the Gibney Lane project was approved, are currently working with JDSF
Foresters on when we are able to start the project. They are thinking either later this
month or September (2019) with all of the projects that they have going on.
We will need at least one Forester on the project for the first week or two.
GRANTS: Diana Hershey and I were able to get copies of successful grants
submitted by the Mendocino County FSC so now we have examples of what other
neighborhoods are doing. I will admit that the Risk Assessments we collected on
June 19 are still sitting on my desk, waiting to be compiled. I should be able to get
back to work on this in the next week. Once I have results I can share that with you
and also the neighbors who completed those assessments. Diana and I plan to write a
"project description" of what we'd seek in a grant application - we will send that to
Imil and Meghan at the County FSC, and then we'll be in the loop for future applications.
At some point we will need to meet again as a neighborhood to further define what work
the neighborhood would want to do for grant funding and how we would accomplish that.
Alongside this activity, we still need to begin attending the leadership meetings of
the MCFSC in Ukiah, networking with other neighborhoods, etc. This will be ongoing.
Any of you interested should feel free to attend those meetings and become members of the MCFSC.
COMMUNICATION: in progress to establish a messaging system for the FSC and also
the group that completed the Risk Assessment on June 19. This would be a good avenue
for reporting out any developments. The NRZ website has been taken down but I still
have the Google account of all those signed up at "Get Updates" from that NRZ site - so
I hope to use those emails to connect with the neighborhood on FSC issues. (Note from
webmaster Robert W. Matson - for the time being this website www.firesafefortbraggsouth.com can provide updates and progress reports to the neighborhood.)
All this to say, not much FSC activity in the last month and half - unless some of
you have other reports? But a small committee has kept things moving forward and will
continue to track our emergency access issue. If there is more to report, we will. Hope
you are all having a good summer - and working on fuel reduction.
Best, Anna Garza
Here is a recap of Q&A from the June 19th Meeting in Caspar
You list a number of questions, some of which will be addressed on Wednesday (grants).
I am going to attempt to answer the questions that I'm able to. The rest of your questions
should be addressed to other organizations. So there will be no need for you to ask these
on Weds; we already have a very full agenda to accomplish. I am sharing a copy of this email
with the Council members in case anyone else has other input to share with you or can
provide answers to your questions. Anna Garza
Communication Problem?? Why did we miss the June 5th Deadline for Grants from the California Fire Safe Council?
1. Answer: We did not miss this deadline. Rather, our neighborhood is just beginning to
learn about available fire safe grants. From what we've learned so far, we are not yet
prepared to put forward a reasonable and representative project description of the fire
safe needs in our neighborhood. We have not done the FIRST thing these grant applications
require - a needs assessment. Diana Hershey and I attended a grants workshop on
May 22 in Ukiah, which we had only learned about just a few days before that.
We rearranged our own calendars, this is all volunteer time on our part, to travel
to Ukiah and spend the entire day in this workshop. The workshop was presented by
the California Fire Safe Council for only the grants they administer. And yes, the
upcoming deadline for that grant cycle was just two weeks out from May 22,
a deadline of June 5. All the other workshop attendees have been working at this for
much, much longer than us and they have their neighborhood needs assessment prepared.
We plan to begin that at our meeting on June 19. Grant applications happen all the time,
year round, by different funding entities and when our needs and a grants criteria match
up, we will be ready to submit. Diana will cover more of how this happens on June
you will receive more information at that point.
Are their more opportunities for Fuel Load Reduction, Defensible Space and Home Hardening Grants?
2. Answer: YES - take your pick. There are lots of these, many funding entities.
But again, any application we make as an FSC should represent the majority needs of
Should the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council have a chipper program like other FSCs do?
3. Answer: They do. The Mendocino Co. FSC has also just received grant funding to purchase
a chipper. They have plans to do more of this and develop some self-sufficiency in this area.
You would need to direct these questions to them. I do not think any of our Council members
know what the plans and activities of the County FSC entail. We can tell you that the grants
workshop presenter on May 22 from the California FSC stated that they are reluctant to
fund FSCs to purchase chippers. This criteria comes from their funder, the US Forest Service.
It appears there is a preference for most of these grants to hire chipping out to professionals,
thereby avoiding the heavy liability, technical training, and insurance.
Who are potential Grant Writers for a chipper and fuel load reduction on Private Property?
4. Answer: See response above - this is what we've found so far. You can also do your own
research. I can tell you that finding a grants writer with time to dedicate, and not charge
you, will be most difficult. There aren't many of these folks around. When we put out a call
to the Council for any grants writing experience, Diana was the only one who stepped up; she
was a grants writer for a large part of her career. This is a very rare and unique skill set,
not to mention extremely time consuming. So I'd say we're fortunate to have found one person
in our midst to advise and help us.
Have a horse(s)? - How are you going to protect or evacuate them?
5. Answer: I’m not sure what your question or inference is here. However I can
share that of the two horse owners on Mitchell Creek I know, my family included,
some time ago we checked with CAL FIRE regarding best planning for our horses in
case of wildfire. We have plans in place for the horses per expert advice. I can
assure you, we care for our large animals, have significant experience caring for
them, and do not need 'advice' from those without experience with horses.
What impact do environmentalists concerned with the safety of the Pygmy Forest
have on our ability to reduce fuel load and protect our Private Property?
6. Answer: You will need to have conversations with those environmental organizations.
I don't think any of the FSC know about this.
Are environmental organizations and clicks sucking up grant money from the "Wildfire Funds"
for their pet projects and ignoring the safety and needs of property owners and businesses who
provide millions of dollars in property taxes and commerce for the Mendocino Coast?
7. Answer: I don't know what you are referencing here? or that this is in fact taking place.
But again, it sounds like you will need to identify those environmental organizations and
"clicks" and then speak to them. In the short time our FSC has gotten involved in grant
seeking, two months, I have not seen any announcements of fire safe grants awards to
entities here on the coast. I don't believe we have this information.
What can you do if a irresponsible neighbor's fuel load threatens your home?
8. Answer: You brought this question up at our May 1 FSC meeting. I responded that
I felt fuel reduction will work best if each of us tends to our own property. The group
seemed to agree with that value. The risk assessment we have planned to complete on
June 19 will assist neighbors to take a fire safety view of their land. But I hope
that we all have a value that helps us respect each other as well as our individual
properties. There is plenty of work I'm sure to be done on each of our lands before
we start looking over the fence to see what others 'should' do. I believe you will
hear this also from our CAL FIRE rep, focus on making your own home as defensible as
possible - that is your best strategy.
Should we put the most focus on hardening our homes and not fuel load reduction?
9. Answer: Hopefully with the risk assessment we complete on June 19 we can begin to
get a better picture of what the neighborhood priorities are for fire safety. Diana and
I will compile the assessments that get turned in and from that we can write our projects
description. That result would need to be shared with our FSC.
What is an appropriate balance between the environment and business for profit?
10. Answer: Who knows. Is this a fire safety issue?
For every action - there is an equal and opposite reaction - have a question or comment?
Email this website at FireSafeFBS@northofsf.com
Preparation SAVED a home in the Paradise Camp Fire: Defensible Perimeter, Generator & Sprinkler
VIEW THIS ACTION ORIENTED HOME OWNER
From the Motion Picture: Only the Brave (2017) - The Sacrifice of American Heroes Scene (8/10)
BASED ON A TRUE WILDFIRE STORY
Watch this segment from the Movie Only the Brave about the Granite Mountain Hotshots;
then look at the photo above and note the fuel load build up in the Pygmy Forest off
Mitchell Creek Road, 4 miles from downtown Fort Bragg, California and ask yourself,
What can I do in the next 30 days to protect my loved ones?
The purpose of this website is to advertise and promote solution oriented businesses and
organizations engaged in protecting the precious wildlife in our forests, enhancing property value,
lowering fire insurance rates, and protecting ourselves and our loved ones.
This website is sponsored by the Mom and Pop Businesses on www.northofsf.com
MEMBER: Fort Bragg South FSC and Mendocino County FSC.
Other Fire Safe Councils: Black Bart FSC, Caspar FSC,
Cobb FSC, Hills Ranch FSC, Pine Mountain FSC,
Sonoma County FSC and in Middletown the South Lake FSC.
Robert W. Matson, P.O. Box 150, Fort Bragg, CA. 95437
Cell (707) 813-1206 Voice Mail (707) 522-0550