Yesterday the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council met with special guests from the federal, state and county levels.

Linda Ortiz, Emergency Services Coordinator with the California Emergency Management Agency, came to Idyllwild to discuss the implementation details of the FSC grant to help residents replace cedar shake roofing.

Linda Ortiz, Emergency Services Coordinator for California Emergency Management Agency, met with the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council on the roofing grant.

Eligible properties must have compliant defensible space, Ortiz stressed. The funding cannot be used for improving defensible space, it is targeted to replacing the high risk roofing material.

FSC Executive Director Edwina Scott and President Michael Esnard and other FSC board members met with Ortiz and two Riverside County officials involved in the grant — Diane Sinclair, deputy director of administration for the Riverside County Fire Department and Paige Philpott, supervisor of the grants unit for the Office of Emergency Services.

During the morning the group discuss the implementation and reimbursement process at the FSC offices. Subjects such as contractor qualifications, number of bids, and the role of the low bid were examples of the day’s business.

After lunch, they toured town to show Ortiz examples of the homes and businesses, which would be using the grant funds.

As the tour began, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack joined the group and went with them to house on S. Circle Drive and Tollgate and two businesses in the center of the village. Bono Mack, Hemet staff, Will Burger was part of the implementation planning session.

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack talks with FSC project manager Pat Boss during the FSC tour of possible sites for re-roofing.
Riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins and Mountain Battalion Chief Sean Dakin confer during the FSC site tour.