From the February 2011 Battle Mountain News

Post date: Jul 1, 2014 9:06:02 PM

Burn Pile Workshop

Mark your calendar! We will be holding a hands-on workshop on Best Practices for Burning Brush at 10 am on Saturday, February 19. We will cover the what, when, and how of burning safely and sensibly, from preparing the material, through choosing a place and time to burn, to building and controlling the fire. We will be joined by a Firefighters and a representative of the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District who will discuss the rules for burning and their rationale. Please contact us to register, or for more information.

RCD Chipper Program

Once again this year we are coordinating the Bonny Doon portion of the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County's chipper program. This program provides free chipping to neighborhoods that collaborate to clear brush in order to create defensible space and safe emergency access. The funding agency and contractors have certain requirements. To make best use of the program and avoid unwelcome surprises, please coordinate with your neighbors and contact us before you begin work.

Ben Lomond Conservation Camp Crews

Camp Ben Lomond, out Empire Grade, houses a complement of minimum-security inmates who are trained by CAL FIRE to fight and prevent wildfires. Camp crews hiked out along the ridges to hand cut fire lines in the night-time hours of August 12, 2009, immediately after the the Lockheed fire broke out; they built the shaded fuel break along Martin Road in 2007 which gave our firefighters crucial time in attacking the Martin Fire in 2008.

These crews of a dozen or so are available to the public for a minimal fee of $200/day to assist in community wildfire protection projects. CAL FIRE requires that the crews be "sponsored", i.e. a community member be on-site to provide an additional pair of eyes for the captain supervising the inmates and to give direction on the specifics of the project. CAL FIRE provides a half day mandatory annual training for prospective sponsors several times a year.

This year Bonny Doon already has grant funding for 30 crew days in the Ecological Reserve and we are optimistic about our chances of obtaining further grant funding for an additional 10 crew days this year for a 2 mile pilot project building a shaded fuel break along Upper Empire Grade.

Even if you don't have a project of your own, please consider attending one of the next 3 training sessions, from 9AM to 1PM on Thursday, February 17, Wednesday, March 9, or Thursday, March 10 at the Ben Lomond Conservation Camp, 13575 Empire Grade, Bonny Doon. Please call Diana Adams at 426-1610, with a headcount, to attend. In order to take advantage of the crews' labor, we need trained sponsors.