At its Sep. 27, regular meeting, Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) Chief Mark LaMont reported that, thus far in 2022, IFPD has participated in 10 mutual aid assignments regarding fires ranging from Redding to San Diego, including the recent Fairview Fire in Hemet. The California Master Mutual Aid agreement provides responding agencies with complete cost reimbursement for cooperating agencies. For the 10 2022 mutual aid assignments thus far, IFPD has invoiced $1.2 million to other agencies for IFPD’s mutual aid participation. IFPD participates in mutual “Automatic Aid” response with its neighboring fire departments.
LaMont reported last month’s Fairview Fire consumed 28,307 acres resulting in two fatalities and destroying 36 structures while damaging eight more.
The chief reported $80,000 was awarded to IFPD this month on three separate 2022 grants with another two grants under submission for a water tender and other miscellaneous rescue equipment in amounts totaling $385,000.
The type 3 brush engine approved for purchase at a recent board meeting ultimately was bought for $349,500, which the chief believes is an overall savings of at least $130,000 compared to having to purchase a new vehicle in 2024-2025.
On recommendation of the chief, the board is considering the future of IFPD’s 1946 Dodge Power Wagon, built in the district’s founding year. It could keep the truck for its historical value — either restored or as is — or it could sell the vehicle as it is or fully restored. Local resident Victor Jimenez, Fern Valley Water District general manager who enjoys restoring vehicles, has offered to volunteer his services toward the vehicle’s restoration.
The first round of the 2022 property abatement program, underway since April 15, was completed May 2, and 307 failed inspection notices were mailed. Nearly 10% of properties inspected were found to be out of compliance. After the second round of inspections, 138 of these properties were still out of compliance, and 116 remained out of compliance after the third inspection round. Final stats show 96% overall compliance. The chief reports that IFPD continues to “work with” the 4% noncompliant properties to ensure eventual compliance of them all.
On staff recommendation, the board unanimously approved by 4-0 vote (with Commissioner Dennis Fogle absent) various measures including the minutes of its most recent July 26 meeting, IFPD’s July and August incident and ambulance reports, financials and bill payments. It also approved board policies regarding public complaints, HIPAA compliance, separation from district employment, and policy relating to its legal counsel and auditor.