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Agendas and Minutes

Wildfire Safety Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Meeting Action Minutes


Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 11:00AM to 1:00PM

Ashland Fire Station #2
455 Siskiyou Blvd


 In attendance: Tim Bewley, Tracy Peddicord, Stephen Gagne, Ron Parker, Bruce Moats, Vicky Sturtevant, , Chris Chambers. Not in attendance Stephani Seffinger (3rd meeting missed) and Doug Kay
  1. INTRODUCTIONS: Sara Jones, Ashland AFR Community Engagement Coordinator and Frank Betlejewski, Chair of Forest Lands Commission
  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: August 17th, 2016
Ron requested to add in the Firewise section the discussion of change in the approach to Firewise Communities from an “all comers” intake to a strategic approach based on the highest level of hazard.
  1. Action Items
    1. Farmers Market Table—tabled until next month.
    2. Ashland Food Project/Firewise Website—tabled until next month.
  1. PUBLIC FORUM – no presentations made
    1. New Business
      1. Camping and Fires
Frank Betlejewski, Chair of Forest Lands Commission spoke about the issue of illegal camping and the use of campfires by transient population. Frank heard about illegal camping from other commissions and in light of the recent grass fire off Mistletoe Road, it appears to be a growing issue that falls into the realm of the Wildfire Mitigation Commission. Frank also added that there are many resources available under the 2016 Ashland Forest Plan under the Forest Lands Commission website and maps that were created and put out under the website
Frank encouraged and will assist the commission in stealing with pride the work of the Forest Commission. The  2016 Ashland Forest Plan  was approved in May by Council. Glossary of forestry concerns, native and non-native plant lists, social history, maps, hazards identified and much more is contained in the report.
  1. Survey
The commission talked about the public engagement survey that the commissioners can use during public events to gauge knowledge. Stephen spoke about the purpose and audience of the survey and how we would tabulate the results and how many people we want to get to respond. Vicky gave insight about surveys and strategies to learn from them, and/or teach them. Ron put the survey out with the Farmer’s Market in mind. The survey could be a pilot for another more extensive survey. Stephen suggested changes to the survey for Ron’s inclusion. The commission discussed various questions on the survey and Ron recorded the changes that he will make later. Ron will be busy for the next week and then gone for 3 weeks. Ron will pass notes on and the group will help edit the survey for use. 
  1. Tim brought up a request from Medford Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg to change the State of Oregon statutes regarding wildfire safety requirements for construction in Wildfire Hazard Zones.
                         Vicky motioned that the commission email Chief Kleinberg with support for his proposed changes. Ron motioned to approve, seconded by Stephen and all voted in favor.
ACTION ITEM Vicky motioned that Ashland Fire & Rescue submit a letter of support for the code changes that includes an endorsement from the Wildfire Mitigation Commission. Stephen motioned to approve and Tracy seconded, all voted in favor.
  1. Tim talked about a discussion with his insurance company about whether wildfire is a major issue. The response from insurance companies is that wildfire losses aren’t large enough to cause companies to change their approach. ACTION ITEM The commission is still interested in talking more with companies. Tim will invited Brian Conrad to a meeting.
  1. Ongoing Business
    1. AF&R Update
      1. AFR/AFAR
Work is starting in the watershed with Lomakatsi crews on the ground starting today on thinning in the Skyline Mine Area and up higher. Helicopter  work projected in November
AFAR starting in November for landowner outreach
  1. Firewise
A few new communities are getting on board including Park Estates on upper Morton St. Most work is on hold until Alison returns in mid-November.
  1. Ashland Chamber Summit and Megafires Presentation – September 12-13, 2016
Vicky gave a summary of the Megafires presentation at SOU. It was taped and will be available via link.
The Wildfire Summit on the 13th was constructive with participants from businesses, the Chamber, and community organizations including the hospital, OSF, Ashland Schools, and SOU. Significant issues addressed were evacuation, communication capacity with employees and visitors, addressing all hazards (not only wildfire), and smoke. The Chamber has been a valuable partner to date.
  1. ACTION ITEM Chris would like to include the Wildfire Task Force group in a working group on smoke, both controlled burns and wildfire smoke.   
  2. Community Wildfire Protection Plan
    1. Community Outreach Plan: Landscapers/Nursery
    2. Risk Assessment/CPAW program. Chris will be sending in the grant application.
  3. Parking Lot Issues
    1. Wildfire Hazard Zone
    2. CWPP Outreach (Chamber/Firewise Communities)
    3. Branding the WMC
    4. Wildfire Commission Collateral (Tim)
  1. COMMISSIONER COMMENTS: Ron talked about attending the successful Ashland Is Ready program
  1. Next WMC Meeting: October 19th, 2016, 11:00am (Station 1)
  1. ADJOURN: 1:00 PM
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the Public Works Office at 488-5587 (TTY phone number 1 800 735 2900). Notification 48 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title I).

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