The Idyllwild Fire Protection District hosted its RT-130 Wildland Fire Safety Training annual refresher with about 30 firefighters participating on Saturday morning. The annual refresher was held near South Ridge. Here, firefighters use chainsaws and other tools to cut line. Photos by Jenny Kirchner

During its May meeting, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District was the first local entity to pass its FY 2020/21 budget. In addition, Commissioner Larry Donahoo resigned effective close of the meeting and the chair of the sustainability committee provided an update. Abatement inspections were discussed as well as the addition of a Cal OES (Office of Emergency Services) engine to the fleet. 

The board of commissioners held its May meeting with four commissioners and some staff physically in attendance with social distancing. One of the five commissioners chose to participate via Zoom. 

Donahoo cited personal reasons for his resignation. He gave a total of 35 years of service to the district as a paid call firefighter EMT and board member. The board will appoint someone to fill Donahoo’s position. 

The budget was unanimously passed, allocating $15,000 to the emergency siren system. With the fiscal year beginning July 1, Chief Mark LaMont is hopeful to have the single siren system working for the Idyllwild and Fern Valley areas as early as August. 

IFPD sustainability committee Chairperson Dr. Dick Goldberg presented a survey and informational flyer to be distributed once approved. The committee discussed the need to put an increase to the $65 assessment in front of the voters. The 10-member committee is narrowing down when to place the measure on a ballot. 

Abatements inspections are in the works. The district expected to send out the first citations mid-June.

The district got a new engine provided by Cal OES (state). The engine will serve for mutual aid purposes. If there is a fire threat to the area, the district will not be required to staff and send the engine out of the district as mutual aid.