Members of the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council pose for a photo with members of Team Rubicon. Photo courtesy of Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council

By Woody Henderson
MCFSC board member

Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council (MCFSC) secures grants that it applies to fire abatement projects on mountain homeowner properties. We also help educate our community regarding fire safety issues. MCFSC meets once a month.
Highlights from the November meeting
MCFSC is hosting a public education event where it will screen "Fire in Paradise.” It is a PBS documentary about the Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California’s history. Location and time to be announced in the Town Crier and on the MCFSC website. The trailer can be seen on YouTube. Search “Fire in Paradise PBS.”
Team Rubicon is a very cool international outfit that serves communities by mobilizing veterans, leveraging their skills and experience to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises. MCFSC has arranged for Team Rubicon to come up and abate for properties that are low income, occupied by the elderly and those physically unable to perform their own abatement. They will also be abating a large project at Camp Emerson. Call our office (number at the end) if you think you qualify. The staff is putting together a list of properties to be included. Check out Teamrubiconusa.org.
Charles Wentz — San Bernardino National Forest, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) — spoke on the tree planting operation and multi-agency abatement of burned trees along Highway 243. The abatement along Highway 243 is wrapping up. In areas where traffic would not be affected, public collection of the cut wood is allowed with a permit from USFS. On a similar subject, Manzanita cannot be legally collected on public land though USFS is working on a permit process for Manzanita.
Abatement season continues. We are expecting some snow Wednesday night (as you read this?). Remember, Santa Ana winds often blow into December. As of the end of October, MCFSC completed abatement for 99 property owners on 110 parcels with the removal of 179 trees. Note that 422.34 tons of biomass have been removed. The Woodies, the volunteer group, worked 136.5 hours in October producing 12.5 cords for an in-kind donation to the community of $6,588. The Idyllwild HELP Center distributes the wood to local families in need.
If you have any questions, call 951-659-6208 or visit Mcfsc.org for more information.

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