Category Archives: Fire Departments

WOLA organizes community clean-up for Washburn Park

Photos courtesy of Kathy Newton and WOLA

Pastor Ken Frazier and Jim Hamlin from Word of Life Assembly of God (WOLA) organized a group of community volunteers on Saturday September 8 to help trim and clean-up Washburn Park.

Fixing up the field

The park is owned by the Burney Water District (BWD). Hamlin, a BWD Board Member, who is also the community service leader for WOLA helped to recruit and organize volunteers. Church members were joined by public-minded neighbors and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and Burney Lions Club. The new Office Manager for the Chamber, Jessica Sharp lent a hand.

Raking up debree

Lisa Barry cares about parks

Lisa Barry, community organizer for Shasta County Health and Human Services also came out to help. Ms. Barry has been helping to facilitate discussions amongst BWD, the Burney Lions, Tri County Community Network, The Fall River Joint Unified School District (FRJUSD), the Burney Chamber of Commerce, Little League and other interested parties to address ongoing concerns about maintenance of the three parks in Burney and to explore ways to expand activities and increase public use. Lisa’s husband Dave Barry, manager of the local Les Schwab, also came on Saturday morning to assist the clean-up.

BWD owns Washburn Park and the Lions (Civic) Park on Hwy 299. FRJUSD owns the Bailey Park property. Tri County Network operates Bailey Park. The Burney Lions maintain Lions Park. Little League also uses the parks.

The clean-up began at 9 a.m. and lasted until 12:30 p.m. As the work was ending Burney Fire Chief Monte Keady came to ensure that all the work was done safely and there was no fire hazard.

Many hands make light work. When a community unites, good things happen.

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Filed under Burney, Burney Lions Club, Burney Water Board, Chamber of Commerce, Churches, Fire Departments, Tri-Counties Community Center, Word of Life Assembly of God, youth

Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc. Receives Major Funding Boost for Project Work

Over the last two weeks Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc. (LCFSC) has been notified of grant awards totaling $16,405,844 for projects that will improve forest and watershed health and reduce wildfire risk for Lassen County communities. The project work will be implemented over the next three years. All the awarded funds come from the segment of the California Climate Investments (CCI) program that is administered by CAL FIRE. CCI is a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities. The awarded grants include funds as follows:

Diamond Mountain Forest & Watershed Restoration Project            $4,760,348

South Eagle Lake WUI Fuel Treatments                                            $3,274,620

Big Valley Mountain WUI Fuel Treatments                                      $7,922,828

Clear Creek WUI Fuel Treatments                                                        $448,048

LCFSC’s Diamond Mountain Initiative (DMI) was awarded $4,760,348 in funds to implement a portion of its Diamond Mountain Forest and Watershed Restoration Project on the Lassen National Forest. The project will restore 4,511 acres of mixed conifer forest and aspen stands. Treatments will consist of the thinning of mixed conifer forest and aspen stands, using uneven-aged management to increase stand complexity and carbon sequestration within all forest types. The funds for this grant come from the CCI/Forest Heath Grant Program that has a primary focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. DMI is an initiative that has its roots in local grass roots action spearheaded early on by local rancher Hannah Tangeman who led a petition drive that accumulated over 1,000 signatures in support of fuel reduction efforts on the Lassen National Forest.

Since 2013 the Lassen County Community Wildfire Protection Plan Working Group (WG) has identified Diamond Mountain as one its highest priorities for hazardous fuels/watershed restoration treatments. In 2014 the WG decided that the LCFSC should take the lead in developing a public/private partnership to address the issue. On that basis LCFSC formed the Diamond Mountain Initiative (DMI) in order to begin moving forward with both public and private land projects that would fortify our previous treatments within the community and restore and protect the watershed. DMI began meeting on a monthly basis and has also conducted scoping meetings. Members of the group include the Lassen (LNF) & Plumas National Forests, BLM, CAL FIRE, Lassen County, Honey Lake Valley RCD, W.M. Beaty and Associates, local fire departments, HL Power, several Registered Professional Foresters and numerous interested citizens.

Early on LCFSC received grants from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) and CAL FIRE for work on private lands within the Diamond Mountain watershed. In 2015 SNC awarded LCFSC an additional grant to provide funds to LCFSC to assist LNF with completing federal environmental clearance (NEPA) in order to move the project forward on National Forest lands. This was followed up with an additional grant from the Lassen County Resource Advisory Committee to assist LCFSC with gaining state environmental clearance (CEQA) so that the project could qualify for State of California project implementation funding.

“The Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc. would like to especially thank three Lassen National Forest employees for their outstanding efforts in moving this project forward” said Lloyd Keefer. “Chuck Lewis, Bobette Jones and Lindsay Grayson provided key support to LCFSC in helping write the highly technical proposal that was the basis for this grant award.”

The other three recently awarded grants come from the CAL FIRE administered CCI/Fire Prevention fund.

The recent Whaleback fire clearly demonstrated the need for the $3,274,620 South Eagle Lake WUI Fuel Treatments project. LCFSC developed the project over the last several years in cooperation with forest landowners and managers Sierra Pacific Industries, WM Beaty and Associates and Fruit Growers Supply. The project will restore the forest and watershed, and reduce hazardous fuel loads on 5,737 acres of forest at the south end of Eagle Lake and funds will also be available to remove dead, dying and hazard trees within the Lake Forest community. Forest thinning and removing forest fuels will limit the spread of wildfire on the landscape; removal of dead and dying trees from around homes and powerlines will reduce the risk of property damage from wildfire and powerline ignitions.

The $7,922,828 Big Valley Mountain WUI Fuel Treatments project will treat hazardous fuel loads on a landscape scale within and between the communities of Day Lassen Bench and Lookout. LCFSC developed the project in cooperation with forest landowners and managers Sierra Pacific Industries and WM Beaty and Associates and the Day Lassen Bench Fire Safe Council, Inc. The project will restore the forest and watershed, and reduce hazardous fuel loads on 13,400 acres of forest on and below Big Valley Mountain. Selective thinning and forest fuel removal will reduce wildfire intensity and spread and improve forest health. In addition, work will also be conducted to reduce wildfire risk in the community corridors of Day Lassen Bench and Lookout. All the work lies within High and Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones which will help to avoid substantial carbon losses from wildfire.

The $448,048 Clear Creek WUI Fuel Treatments project will remove dead, dying and hazard trees within the Clear Creek community and also create a shaded fuel break along Indian Ole Road. The project was developed in partnership with Sierra Pacific Industries and will be implemented through a cooperative agreement with LCFSC and the Clear Creek Community Service District. The removal of dead and dying trees from around homes and powerlines will reduce the risk of property damage from fire and reduce the risk of ignitions from these sources; construction of a fuel break will limit the spread of wildfire on the landscape.

“All of these projects were developed through important partnerships with forest landowners, local communities and the Lassen County Board of Supervisors,” said Tom Esgate, LCFSC Managing Director. “In particular, Lassen County’s support of our efforts with Title III funds was critical to our success in obtaining these grant awards.”

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Ad Hoc Meeting held at the Meeting Place to discuss recovery relief for Carr Fire

An Ad-Hoc meeting was held on Monday July 31 at Meeting Place at Burney Presbyterian Church to discuss what further things the intermountain area can do to aid the victims of the Carr Fire.

Ad Hoc Meeting at the Meeting Place at BPC

According to Cal Fire Incident Information on the Carr Fire as of Tuesday, July 31, the fire has burned 110,154 acres.  In addition, 884 residences, 4 commercial structures, and 348 outbuildings have been destroyed  and 169 residences, 5 commercial structures and 51 outbuildings have been damaged. As of Tuesday morning the fire was 27% contained.

Thirty-eight thousand people have been displaced. There are several evacuation Centers including Shasta College, Simpson University, Cross Point Community Church in Redding, Trinity High School in Weaverville, and Foothill High School in Palo Cedro.

(For latest information on the Carr Fire and other California Fires see CAL FIRE California Statewide Map).

In cooperation with Fred Gideon of the American Red Cross, The Meeting Place at Burney Presbyterian Church  has been helping to collect emergency supplies for evacuees. A collection center for donations was set up at the church.

Donations at BPC – photo courtesy of The Meeting Place at BPC

Many people volunteered at the donation center and enough donations were given by the community to deliver 3 truckloads to the Cottonwood Community Center Distribution on July 30,2018. The Cottonwood Community Center receives donations and then sorts them by evacuation center needs and sends them where they are needed.

Ready to deliver a truck load of supplies – photo courtesy of The Meeting Place at BPC

Pastors Penni and Tim Scarbrough helped to oversee organization of activities. Elizabeth Tyler took charge of factual updates and media outreach.  Tanya Taylor, Amber Mayhew, Michelle Kelley, Kim Filley, Charla Connelley, Kimberly Michelle, Karin Erickson, Carrie Wade, River Marcks, Jennifer Frolich, and Ann Johnson volunteered to staff the collection center. Matt Adkins, Candi Ticker, Alissa Tereba volunteered to drive the trucks to the distribution center.

Donations are still being collected. According to the Salvation Army what is most needed are new pillows, new blankets, shoes, sunscreen, paper products, towels, bottled water, diapers, baby food, new children’s clothing, new adult size shirts, socks, underwear, and baby wipes.

Monetary donations can be made to the American Red Cross 1-800-733-2767 (http://www.redcross.org), and Shasta Regional Foundation Disaster Relief Fund 530-244-2207 (http://www.shastarcf.org/funds/cdrf). Donations to house small animals can be made to Haven Humane 530-241-1653 (http://www.havenhumane.org).

The meeting on Tuesday was attended by Burney Fire Chief Monte Keady, Natalie Forrest and Russell Elek from the Pit River Tribe, Judy Jacoby, Manager of Pit River Health Clinic, Keith Topaum, acting liason for Carr Fire incident for Pit River Health Clinic, Elizabeth Tyler from Burney Disposal, Lisa Barry from Shasta County Health and Human Services, Rev. Tim Scarbrough,  Sandra Jensen, Jill Barnett, and Michael Kerns. Pastor Penni Scarbrough facilitated the meeting.

Representatives from Pit River Tribe and the Pit River Health Center said that many tribal members living in Redding have been displaced and have come to stay with families in the Intermountain area. A temporary shelter has been set up at the health center to provide referral, temporary emergency shelter, food, and medical services.

Elizabeth Tyler, speaking on behalf of Rev. Ken Frazier said that WOLA can provide showers and shelter in the gym for people displaced by the fire.

Chief Keady recommended that the group continue to meet in order to continue to assist long-term recovery.

In addition to discussing efforts to help Carr Fire victims the group also discussed developing a plan for the Intermountain area to provide for emergency relief and assistance in case there were a major fire in the Intermountain area.

Rev. Scarbrough said that Fred Gideon from the Red Cross asked the group (1) to develop a resource manual for the area, (2) to develop a volunteer data base, and (3) to compile a list of home owners in the area that would be willing to provide temporary refuge for displaced fire victims. Those in attendance said that they would Email Penni relevant information on the above items so that Tim and Penni can put all of the information into a binder and develop a manual.

For more information on how you can help call Penni Scarbrough at 530-524-2944.

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Mayor Ralph presents Burney Fire District with a donation for new pagers

On Tuesday July 24, Honorary Mayor of Burney Ralph Freitas presented the Chief of the Burney Fire Protection District Monte Keady with a check for more than $1000 at the Burney Fire Station.

Mayor Ralph presents BFD Chief Keady with a check

The donation will be used to buy two new pagers for BFPD volunteers.

Mayor Ralph said that on Saturday, July 28 he will be at the MMA BATTLE CRY CAGE FIGHTING sponsored by Pit River Casino to raise more money for the fire district.

“My goal is to raise another $500 to $1000 to get them two more pagers.” said Freitas.

Freitas was announced winner of the 2018 Honorary Mayor’s Race at the opening event of Burney Basin Days on July 5. Four candidates competed to see who could raise the most money for a local charity. Mayor Ralph raised $2,110.85. Half of the money raised went to the charities the candidates ran for and half of the money went to the Burney Chamber of Commerce who sponsored the Mayor’s Race.

Upon being presented with the check, Chief Keady said, “I appreciate it very much when people step up as Ralph has done to help out. If people volunteer, that’s great. If they do something like this, I am happy.”

Mayor Ralph said, “I would like to thank everyone for their support and love. I love you all for what you have done. Without all of you, I couldn’t do this.”

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Ralph Freitas wins 2018 race for Honorary Mayor of Burney

Ralph Freitas is the Honorary Mayor of Burney for 2018. His victory in the Mayor’s Race was announced at the Burney High School Football field at the Kid Fit opening event of Burney Basin Days Thursday evening July 5.

Burney Chamber President Sandy McCullar and Jill Daugherty welcome Ralph Freitas as 2018 Honorary Mayor of Burney

The Mayor’s race is a fun annual event in which public-minded citizens raise funds for favorite charities. The one who raises the most money becomes the new mayor. Four candidates competed in this year’s race.

2017 Honorary Mayor Jill Daugherty, 2018 Honorary Mayor Ralph Freitas, and candidates Katie Small, Jen Luck, and VFW Commander J.P. Wheeler (representing Destiny Tavares)

Burney Chamber of Commerce President introduced each candidate who then spoke briefly about their cause. Ralph raised money for the Burney Fire District. The money will be used to buy new pagers for volunteers. Jen Luck raised money for Burney Beautification. Katie Small raised money for Burney sports, and Destiny Tavares raised money for “past, present, and future veterans.” Ms. Tavares was represented at the event by VFW Post 5689 Commander J.P. Wheeler.

Altogether, the four candidates raised $3,082.31. After Ralph was announced as the winner, 2017 Honorary Mayor Jill Daugherty placed a top hat on his head and draped him with his Honorary Mayor’s ribbon. All of the candidates then shared a high five.

High Five

Mayor Freitas said that he hoped to ride in the Burney Fire District fire truck during the Burney Basin Days Parade.

Shortly after the ceremony Freitas performed his first official duty by judging the closing Kid Fit watermelon-eating contest.

Mayor Ralph Freitas judging the watermelon eating contest

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PG&E Funds Two Lassen County Fire Safe Council Fuel Reduction Projects

Press Release from Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc.:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has awarded Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc. (LCFSC) $100,000 to fund fuel treatments to address extreme fire hazards in the Day Lassen Bench community in Lassen and Shasta Counties. The news comes as California recognizes Wild Fire Awareness Week in the second week of May.

Funds are being used to reduce hazardous fuel loads through mastication treatments along the Day Road corridor and for emergent brush treatments of last year’s PG&E funded mastication work.

The Day Lassen Bench Project is again focusing on three critical community needs that were identified after the 2014 Day Fire threatened the community: 1. Reducing hazardous fuel loads along the Day Road corridor, which will provide safer evacuation routes; 2. Reducing hazardous fuel loads in power line corridors, which protects critical community infrastructure, and; 3. Maintaining and expanding fuel breaks that protect the community where it bumps up against wildlands.

It is expected that over 200 acres will be treated within PG&E’s service in the Day Lassen Bench community in Lassen and Shasta counties. LCFSC is partnering with the Day Lassen Bench Fire Safe Council to implement this high priority project. It was tied for the #1 ranking in the 2018 Lassen County CWPP Work Plan.

In 2016 and 2017, PG&E provided LCFSC with a total of $262,388 for fund fire safe projects in both Day Lassen Bench and Little Valley.

“Once again we are grateful for the tremendous boost PG&E is providing to our efforts to reduce fire risk in local communities,” said Lloyd Keefer, LCFSC Chair. “We are putting these funds to work immediately and the PG&E funded treatments are planned to be completed by July 31, 2018, well in advance of the peak period of this year’s fire season.”

“The safety of the communities we serve is the top priority for PG&E and we are once again committed to support local wildfire prevention efforts in Lassen and Shasta counties. This collaboration among PG&E, and the Lassen County Fire Safe Council will help the communities we serve prevent and prepare for wildfires,” said Carl Schoenhofer, senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley division.

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Intermountain Preparedness Group holds interagency exercise to prepare for mass causality events

On Thursday April 26 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., about two dozen representatives from emergency response units, healthcare facilities, and support services met at the Burney Fire Hall to conduct a “Mass Casualty Table Top Exercise.”

Burney Fire District Chief Monte Keady facilitating the discussion

The meeting was a function of the Intermountain Preparedness Group that was formed to “attain shared preparedness and bring stability during crisis.” Agencies attending the meeting included CAL FIRE, Shasta County Fire Service, McArthur Fire Protection District, Burney Fire Protection District, Mayers Memorial Hospital District, Mountain Valley Health Centers, Pit River Health Service, Sierra Emergency Medical Services Alliance, Southern Cascades EMS District, Shasta County OEM, Shasta County Health and Human Services, and the American Red Cross,  .

The exercise was facilitated by Burney Fire Protection District Chief Monte Keady. Participants were organized into three groups according to their mission and function. The three groups were: 1) Fire, Hazmat, and Emergency Services; 2) Health Care Facilities; and 3) Support Services.

Chief Keady began the exercise by presenting a scenario of a mass causality event. The scenario involved a 40 vehicle fire on Hwy 299 in which 40 vehicles were involved. It included injuries and fatalities, a fire that began to spread, and a hazardous waste spill.

After briefing the audience on the situation, Keady asked each group to engage in a fifteen minute discussion about how they would respond to this emergency in the first 60-90 minutes.

Group discussions in progress

Afterward, a representative from each group presented a summary of their discussion. In their summaries they discussed how they would plan, organize and staff each of their operations, set up a command structure and communications, organize relief efforts and transportation, provide services, set up shelters, etc. After each presentation there was an opportunity for question and answer and open discussion.

Mayers Hosptial CEO Louis Ward reporting for the Health Services discussion group

The rest of the agenda had two more scenario updates followed by group, intergroup, and open discussions. The last scenario update involved the close of the incident. The final event of the exercise was “Lessons learned,” a thirty minute period of shared reflection during which participants could share “Aha moments.”

The meeting also included breaks during which participants could share refreshments and talk on a less formal basis.

For more information about the Intermountain Preparedness Group, citizens can contact any of the participating agencies.

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