Humboldt County Fire Safe Council
October 20, 2003
The sixth meeting of the Humboldt County Fire Safe Council (FSC) was held on October 20, 2003, from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M., at the U.S. Forest Service Six Rivers National Forest conference room, 1330 Bayshore Way, Eureka, California. The FSC was appointed by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to guide preparation of the County Master Fire Protection Plan (Fire Plan).
Fire Safe Council Members Attending
- Kevin O誰eil, Cal. Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) District Chief
- Kirk Gothier, Humboldt County Community Development Services, Assistant Planning Director
- Debra Lake, Fruitland Volunteer Fire Department, Board Chair
- Lucy Salazar, USFS, Six Rivers National Forest, Vegetation Management & Air Coordinator
- Dave White, Arcata Fire Department and Humboldt County Fire Chiefs Association Representative
- Will Harling, Orleans/Somers Bar Fire Safe Council and Orleans Fire & Rescue
- Glenn Ziemer, Humboldt Fire District #1, Assistant Fire Chief
- Ian Sigman, Honeydew Volunteer Fire Company and Lower Mattole Fire Safe Council
Fire Safe Council Members Absent:
- Gary Risling, Hoopa Fire Department, Wildlands Fire Manager
- Frank Hizer, Fortuna Fire Protection District, Fire Chief
Public and Agency Representatives Attending:
- Tracy Katelman, Lower Mattole Fire Safe Council
- Jim Moranda, CDF Assistant Chief
- Kim Price, CDF Fire Captain and Pre-fire Planner
- Mary Commins, Humboldt County Community Development Services
- Cybelle Immitt, Humboldt County Community Development Services
- Dan Larkin, Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services
- Tim Jones, Fire Management Officer, Bureau of Land Management
- Karen Hans, NOAA Fisheries
- Yvonne Everett, HSU Natural Resources
County Fire Safe Council Coordinator / Master Fire Protection Plan Consultant
- George Williamson, Planwest Partners, Principal Planner (Fire Safe Council Coordinator)
- Bob Burnham, RNB Spatial Data Inc., Chief Operations Officer
- John Miller, Planwest Partners, Planner
CALL TO ORDER AND INTRODUCTIONS:
The Fire Safe Council Coordinator, George Williamson, called the meeting to order at 1:10 P.M. and the Council members and the audience made self introductions.
Fire Planning and Educational Activities
Tracy Katelman gave an update on the preparations for the upcoming Firewise Community Workshop at the Fortuna Riverlodge on November 18-19, 2003. This is a workshop on community fire safety sponsored by a statewide organization. To date, 32 people have registered and up to 100 total seats are available (with 20 "scholarships available to defray registration cost for those who require assistance). Tracy expects registration to peak as the Workshop date nears.
Firewise Workshop Update.
Adrea Tuttle, CDF Director, will be the opening speaker on Tuesday the 18th, and a Member of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will open the Workshop on Wednesday the 19th.
"Burning Issues". Tracy Katelman also made an announcement about "Burning Issues", a public forum to discuss the fires that recently burned thousands of acres in Southern Humboldt. The focus of the meeting will be to discuss the firefighting operations and community safety. Burning Issues will be held at the Mateel Community Center on November 1st. There will be a small entry fee.
Humboldt County General Plan Update Deliberation Meetings. Kirk Gothier stated that several community workshops are scheduled where consultant and planning staff will present County General Plan "sketch plan" alternatives. The sketch plans will include alternative for patterns of development and levels of community services (all types of infrastructure, including fire protection) that will help guide land use choices. It is hoped that the Fire Plan will provide data for the deliberation meetings.
Fire Safe Council Review and Planning Update
The FSC Coordinator reviewed the April meeting agenda. Each FSC member received an information packet, containing the FSC Draft Humboldt County Master Fire Protection Plan, prior to the FSC meeting and interested parties were sent meeting notices. The Coordinator asked the FSC members to review the meeting summary of the May 19, 2003, FSC meeting. No revisions were made.
Fire Organization Survey. To date, 37 of 42 local, state, and federal fire organizations have completed the second survey. The FSC Coordinator requested input from the Council on how to proceed with only limited response from local departments, and therefore only limited information about true fire suppression capabilities.
Kevin O誰eil stated that Kim Price, CDF Pre-Fire Planner, will work with the Consultant and the County to gather the remaining surveys.
The FSC Coordinator stated that if all data is received by the end of October, that it will take until approximately early- to mid-December to complete the risk analysis. This will allow for presentation of a Draft Plan at an early January FSC meeting, considering the holiday season. The importance of FSC input in Fire Plan Implementation Measures development was emphasized.
FSC Draft Fire Plan. An internal review of an Administrative Draft Fire Plan by County staff and CDF generated useful comments. After incorporating these comments, the FSC Draft Fire Plan was prepared and circulated.
The FSC Draft Fire Plan lacks a complete risk assessment. Too few fire organization surveys (Surveys No.1 and 2) have been received to date to allow a complete picture of firefighting capabilities. Therefore, the Risk Assessment Chapter (Chapter 3) is only partially complete. The FSC Coordinate indicated that Robert Burnham, RND Spatial Data, will make a presentation on Chapter 3 and discuss each component of analysis.
Kevin O誰eil stated that there were notable FSC absences at this meeting and asked how we should proceed without their input on the FSC Draft Plan. Kirk Gothier suggested that the Consultants proceed with presentation of the partial analysis today and ask the Consultants to get input from the FSC Members who are absent.
Overview of Fire Safe Council Draft of Master Fire Protection Plan. Chapter 1 is an overview of the entire analysis. The Existing Conditions Chapter (Chapter 2) ended up being larger than we expected. There is a tremendous amount of information about local, state, and federal fire related organizations that could be included in this section. A summary of Chapter 3 will be presented later by Robert Burnham.
PowerPoint Presentation. The FSC Coordinator guided the FSC through a PowerPoint overview of the FSC Draft Plan (a copy of the PowerPoint is included with this summary). The following comments were received during the presentation:
- K. O誰eil: 1.4 should be entitled "Fire Protection" not "Fire Management";
- D. White: There should be a table containing all local fire organization responses (Arcata, Humboldt No. 1, Eureka, and Fortuna not part of Humboldt Fire Dispatch Coop);
- D. White: There should be a discussion of Proposition 172 in Chapter 1;
- K. O誰eil: The California FSC is not a State Agency and should not be in State Agency discussion;
- L. Salazar: Are the population density groupings used the most appropriate?
- K. O誰eil: There should be recognition of the economic benefit of investment in fire protection. Fire Departments were originally started by insurance companies. There is a relationship between investment in fire protection and insurance, as fire protection capabilities increase, insurance premiums go down.
- D. White: We should get Carl Pellatz involved. Is there some way we could evaluate available protection vs. cost of service on a per capita basis.
- G. Ziemer: Depending on where you live, fires are managed differently (e.g., if you live adjacent to Forest Service lands, BLM lands, or SRA)
- K. Gothier: G. Ziemer痴 statement should be reflected in Chapter 3.
RAMS Model Presentation
Robert Burnham presented the Chapter 3 RAMS analysis. The RAMS (Risk Assessment Management System) analysis is a wildfire risk analysis. This analysis is a highly technical analysis that we have attempted to put into plain language. Further, this is an administrative draft where we are presenting a plan "format", not a final product.
Mr. Burnham delivered a PowerPoint presentation on Chapter 3. The following comments were received during the presentation:
- W. Harling: I think that it is questionable to include "fog belt" land within the Lower Klamath Fire Compartment.
- K. O誰eil: Orick and Trinidad are very much alike. There should be a "Coastal" Planning Compartment. In the South Eel/Main Eel area that are many community of interest issues.
- W. Harling: How does the "fog belt" relate to fuel hazard?
- K. O誰eil: How did you come up with relative risk between compartments? Fog plays such a role. The "Yellow" relative risk in the Mattole Valley doesn稚 seem to apply
- D. Lake: Fire Reporting is expensive and complex. NFIRS reporting is a federal grant requirement. We need a recommendation/policy/implementation measure to facilitate fire reporting for small departments. Departments need computers too.
- G. Ziemer: "Firehouse", a fire reporting software, is the easiest to use.
- D. Larkin: Will the Megram Fire be in the RAMS analysis.
- G. Ziemer: A "key" should be provided on some compartment maps so that text does not obscure the map.
- G. Ziemer: How does low economic value and high ignition risk relate to relative fire risk?
- K. Gothier: Low, Moderate, and High need to be described with respect to the assessment factors and the summary table.
- W. Harling: How should you use the ratings, and how shouldn稚 you use the ratings?
- K. O誰eil: How are features that change factored into the analysis, such as logging roads that are removing roads through watershed management; public management practices; etc.
- T. Jones: Are the communities at risk that are listed, Federal Communities at Risk?
- T. Katelman: Are we going to segregate communities at risk, and is the MFFP going to recommend additional communities at risk?
- Y. Everett: Is climate treated as a constant?
- T. Katelman: Planning compartments include coastal and inland lands, is this correct?
- K. Gothier: How do we make changes to planning compartments?
- G. Williamson: We will distribute planning compartment maps and have a follow-up meeting to discuss changes.
- K. O誰eil: RAMS is a wildland fire risk analysis tool, how to we assess the remaining fire department functions such as EMS, HazMat, etc.
- G. Ziemer: I want to make sure that this is not a binder that sits on a shelf. What is the real-world expectation for what this plan can do? What is the real-world expectation about how much more we will know when this is done? How can we make sure that this plan will be useful in land planning and for other purposes?
- K. Gothier: You are not seeing the mapping that depicts the level of service (i.e., what are the existing levels of service, where are the service gaps, where are we going). This plan will be useful to districts because it is the first step in the process for development for benefit assessments. It can also serve as the basis for consolidations, annexations, and district formations.
Election of Chair and Vice- Chairperson Nominations and Election
A quorum of FSC Members was present and elections were held to fill the FSC officer vacancies.
Nominations were requested from the FSC for Chair and Vice Chair. Kevin O誰eil was nominated for FSC Chair and unanimously approved by the FSC. Will Harling was nominated for the position of Vice Chair and unanimously approved by the Council.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 10th, 2003, from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. to be held at the USFS Six Rivers National Forest conference room.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5:00 P.M.