From the November 2012 Battle Mountain News

Post date: Jul 3, 2014 10:14:30 PM

Save the Date! Annual Meeting - Changes to Backyard Burn Rules

On November 12th, from 7 to 9 pm, at McDermott Station on the corner of Empire Grade and Felton-Empire Road, we will hold our annual meeting to gather community feedback and to report on the grant projects that we will be wrapping up this winter and our plans for the future.

The Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District Board [MBUAPCD] recently changed their rules for backyard burning. The rule changes primarily impact the San Lorenzo Valley, which regularly falls out of compliance with State air quality standards in winter. There has been concern about how the rule changes might effect Bonny Doon. We are lucky to have David Frisbey from MBUAPCD, the District community liason for the rule changes, as our guest speaker. Bring your questions!

Can You Give A Day A Month To "Sponsor" Ben Lomond Camp Crews?

In order to afford to build roughly four miles of grant-funded fuel breaks in Bonny Doon this year, the Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council uses Ben Lomond Camp Crews at a cost of $220/day for 12-15 men. To use the crews, there needs to be, in addition to the CAL FIRE captain directing them, a community “sponsor” or two to serve as extra pairs of eyes. Since March, 9 volunteers have contributed 80 days of their time.

Now that the rains have begun, we will need about 12 days to perform prescribed burns of the cut and dried material in our first 1.75 miles. Then, before May, we will need to take another 20 to 30 days to clear and burn another two miles of fuel break on the ex-Cemex property along upper Empire Grade.

We could really use some more help. The work we are doing is aimed at making the whole community safer in the face of wildfire by securing the main access and evacuation road on the mountain and providing space for firefighters to make a stand in order to defend our homes. When we move to upper Empire it will be an opportunity to see some beautiful country that has not been open to the public and probably won't be for at least another few years while the management plan is developed and implemented by the 5 land trusts.

What does it entail? Once a month, you show up at the job site about 9 AM and are home by 4 PM; in between you stay within sight of the inmates. There is a prerequisite half day training which typically offered in the first 3 months of the year. If we can get a dozen or so people lined up to take it, we can schedule a special training much earlier. While some say that sponsoring is a job without reward, please consider the benefit to the community. If you can help make our community Fire Safe, please contact us.