After the first three meetings conducted locally by the California Fire Safe Council, it’s clear that to create a fire-safe community, it will take a huge commitment. With a show of hands of the more than 30 who attended last Saturday’s (January 12) meeting, a consensus to move forward was reached. What was agreed upon was to:
—Move immediately to become a part of the Sequoia Fire Safe Council, and
—Begin organizing a non-profit FSC that could one day be solely devoted to addressing the needs of Three Rivers.
For now, Three Rivers projects would get more bang for the buck if requests were made by the Sequoia Fire Safe Council. Bob Puls, president of the Sequoia Fire Safe Council, told the gathering there’s no time to take years organizing and local projects would be a priority in the
Sequoia council’s requests because Three Rivers is the most populous, at-risk community in Tulare County.
Puls, who is employed with the Tulare County Resource Conservation District, said the RCD formed the Sequoia Fire Safe Council in 2004.
“The advantage we have is that Three Rivers is already included as a part of our ‘landscape vision’ for the entire county,” Puls said. “You would have a seat at the SFSC table and could begin proposing local projects right away.”
In effect, Puls said, this is not the time to r-invent the wheel but Three Rivers could start right way seeking grants and working on a community protection plan that can become an addendum to the Sequoia Fire Safe Council’s plan that already exists.
Elizabeth LaMar, grants specialist with the California Fire Safe Council and Three Rivers resident, proposed that a local work group be formed and start as soon as possible.
“It was decided that we would join with the Sequoia Fire Safe Council… they already have infrastructure, the accounting systems, and partnerships we need to get started on Three Rivers projects right now,” LaMar said. “While developing this partnership, we will also establish our
own 501(c)(3) and begin writing our protection plan but that could take a couple of years.”
For more information or to get involved, call Elizabeth LaMar at (559) 288-2603.