By Norm Walker, MCFSC president
I hope this article finds everyone safe and exercising caution during this continuing pandemic. Pandemic or no pandemic, the worst part of California’s fire year is coming upon us no matter what and Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council (MCFSC) is hard at work helping people prepare for it.
When the governor issued the Stay-at-Home order for our state, MCFSC Executive Director Kathy Wilson contacted Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington’s office to see if we were considered “essential” and could keep working if we followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Our status was confirmed for both the Fire Safe Council and the Woodies volunteers.
The Woodies (masked up and social distancing) continue to provide firewood for those who qualify through the Idyllwild HELP Center, as well as doing small abatement jobs for those who qualify.
MCFSC (in person) board meetings were canceled for April and May and the June meeting has not been decided upon at this time.
Monies are running low from our U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire grants but a small Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government has helped keep us in business this spring.
Team Rubicon will be in town from June 20 to 27 abating low-income properties and the Woodies will be helping with that effort.
We hope to have more details on that effort soon.
Idyllwild Fire Protection District and Riverside County/Cal Fire are out doing fire inspections. For abatement help, call us at 951-659-6208.
With that, we offer up this poem by longtime Director Doris Lombard.
This is a warning from me, Red Ember
Have you abated? Do you remember
When flames roared up the terrain’s brush,
timber and grasses
Nearly destroyed our homes
burned all of our assets?
It’s time to remove those pine needles and leaves
All things that burn, you can surely believe
Red Ember and crew can scorch, burn and fly
So abate or risk bidding your
good home a goodbye!