Lake Cushman Firewise Council

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Lake Cushman Firewise Council
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Firewise Meetings
Minutes July 11, 2018

Meeting opened at 1:00 PM

Attending were: Katherine Edwars, Anita, Floyd, Dick Krase, Ken Weaver, Bob Berger, Jim Crawford, Betty Widing, Ray Manard, Joe Cochran, Aaron Nix, Deanie Sostrich, Bill Sostrich

Fire Chief Mike Sexton spoke to group about the burn restriction guidelines. After extensive work with agencies involved (WA state, DNR and Mason County) Lake Cushman will follow same rules as Mason County until and if, a total burn ban is instituted. Only recreational fires in designated, designed fire pits with proper clearance and size will be permitted. No other outdoor burning allowed. Propane and charcoal grills will be allowed. There will be a flyer explaining these measures and it will be widely distributed, plus postings in various media. Questions followed. The success and safety of these measures will be evaluated as summer conditions continue.

Treasurer's Report:
Balance at end of June was $10,247.88 plus an additional $60.00 donation from Chipper project. Pending bill of $80.56 (electric pole saw and warranty) for Raffle at Ice Cream Social.

A mention was made about problem with bees and wasps. Bee Services (Mike Juhl was recommended.

Bill reported that he will be giving Julie at LCMC and the Fire Department the detailed instructions to program the Firewise LED sign at the Lake Cushman Grocery when he is no longer available. He will speak to Commissioners and Fire Dept. about their possible interest in assuming responsibility for continuation of Firewise. He reiterated that to maintain our certification that it is important we continue using the Time Sheets for reporting. Joe Cochran stated that since Lake Cushman is a “destination” we are pretty much on our own. Firewise could be a very important education tool for Fire Dst. 18. Group was reminded that evacuation information is very important for our community. Ray Manard also feels that Firewise would be the strongest educational arm for the Fire Dept. Dick Krase indicated if needed he is willing to assume duties of submitting annual reports for Firewise.

Aaron Nix stated he has been told the grant for broadband is moving forward with Hood Canal Communications. Would potentially cover all of Lake Cushman.

Details of August 4th Ice Cream Social were discussed. Dick indicated he would contact the timber companies and see if they would like to have a representative there. Joe suggested he might be able to speak with Forest Service about attending. At this point we have representatives from Dept. of Emergency Mgt., DNR (depending on fire conditions), Block Watch, Security, Fire Dist.18, EMTs, CERT program and of course Firewise.

We will also have Out of Mist Massage and Healthy Wellness. Fire Auxiliary with hot dog lunch and great entertainment by the Windjammers. Our ice cream order has been placed with Olympic Mtn. Ice Cream. Raffles will be for $250 landscape pkg (2)by United Landscape Services, electric pole saw, 1 ½ gal ice cream, Scentsy and Ila's foods. At 3 pm will have a tour of Lake Kokanee Dam.

We are borrowing pop-up shade from LCMC, Lions and Hood Canal RV group, coolers from Food Bank. Firewise members are providing various items for the day and their labor at the event

Meeting adjourned at 2:15 pm.
There will be a brief Ice Cream Social review , August 1st at 1 PM.

Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meetings
Minutes June 6, 2018

Meeting opened at 1:00 PM with the following in attendance: Carl Parker, Betty Widing, Anita Floyd, Katherine Edwards, Nan McGuire, Dale Franzen, Ken Weaver, Bob Berger, Jim Crawford, Aaron Nix, Deanie Sostrich and Bill Sostrich

Treasurer's Report:

At the end of April , Firewise had a balance of $9,625.19. Deposits for June will be greater than $607.69 from Chipper Days and the Stump Dump. We also received $10. for member dues.

Recap on Chipper Days:

Beco's Landscape worked May 29th for approximately 5 hours. Two men , with the 12” chipper and truck worked fast and accomplished a lot. They were late arriving and that caused some extra waiting for Bill and Ken (who accompanied Bill). They created at least 12 yards of chip. Bill felt it is worth using them in the future for projects. They charged $650.00 which was paid out of Title III Funds by the Department of Emergency Management(DEM). Beco's was given DEM's contact info for the billing.

On May 30th a good crew of volunteers chipped. A major delay and extra driving to Olympia slowed the start, when the chipper broke at first property. Firewise volunteers finished around 6 pm. We returned chipper on the 31st . Our rental was free as Lew's Rentals in Olympia only charged us for gas used. We have rented from them every year and they apologized and said we have been good customers .

Stump Dump was on June 2nd..3rd Lots of residents brought limbs and green material. Very busy up to closing on Sunday. One of our residents brought 7 loads of material she had cleared from the greenbelt behind her house.

There was a discussion of the over-grown green belts that have basically not been touched for 17 years. Some residents are willing to clean-up greenbelts that border their property to lessen fire danger. Aaron Nix said the LCMC has a form (available on LCMC website) that should be completed and filed prior to doing that work. He is working with Randy to evaluate what can be accomplished by LCMC within staffing and budget parameters. Aaron says important for homeowners to discuss with LCMC so that hopefully help can be provided. At a minimum, having staff pick up piles after homeowner has cleaned up. We cannot take green debris to Olympic View (Belfair) for free. They do charge a fee as does Brady's on John's Prairie plus quite a distance to haul.

It was stated that pooling resources and creating fuel breaks to control or limit damage from wildfires. Bill indicated that the most serious risk is from Dow Mountain area as there is so much fuel in that area. A fire on Dow Mountain may spread into the low lying divisions. And just the amount of embers coming off of a fire up there would be impossible to contain all of the spot fires it would create in other divisions. Also discussed was the use of prison crews to assist in cleanup after cutting is done by other crews. LCMC and Firewise could accomplish more with less money.

Last discussion was on the August 4th Ice Cream Social in Kokanee Park, Division. It will be held from 12pm -3 pm. We want to have as many safety and fire prevention agencies on hand as possible. Plus groups serving Lake Cushman such as Security, Block Watch, and Community Connections. We plan on inviting our Fire Dept., EMTs, DEM and DNR. We also are planning on the Fire Auxiliary preparing and serving hot dogs, chips and drinks. We will of course have plenty of Olympic Mountain Ice Cream. Our entertainment will be the Windjammers who played last year and were very good. Crowd loved their music. We will need four or more pop-ups to keep off the hot August sun. We will offer a dam tour at 3 pm, arranged by Betty. Ken also suggested perhaps Dr. Hoffman from Mason General might send a representative since his staff has a new program for “after hospitalization”. We also are inviting Sarena Haskins from the Healthy Sol in Hoodsport to provide information on increasing strength, balance and movement for older people. We are hoping to have some chair messages available. Raffle prizes will be donated by Firewise. It was suggested we have two, $250 yard clean-ups, and a some power and hand tools for outdoor work. Our group should also solicit donations with merchants who they know. It was suggested perhaps Puerto de Angeles might contribute gift certificates for dinners.

It should be a fun afternoon, but we have to get publicity and word out to all residents in Lake Cushman. An extra meeting will be scheduled if needed.

Meeting adjourned at 2:10 PM
Respectfully submitted,
Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meetings
Minutes May 2, 2018

Meeting began at 1:30 p.m

In Attendance were Katherine Edwards, Deanie Sostrich, Betty Widing, Dale (?), Jim Crawford, Ken Weaver, Donna Hellyer, Bob Berger, Joe Cochran and Bill Sostrich

Treasurer's Report:
                  Deposits April - $5
    Total Balance includes; Firewise = $8879.55
                   Emergency Prepardness = $577.00
                                       LED Sign  = $138.94
     Total Balance at the end of April $9595.49
Copies distributed to group.

Bill recaped for our guests that since our start in 2006 we have had as part of our plan with the National Firewise Assoc., an Emeregency Preparedness mandate. We were able to incorporate the newly formed Emergency Preparedness Committee into Firewise, under the leadership of Patsy Schultz. Now that she is moving out of state we will need someone to direct that Committee. We have produced Evacution Maps for all our Divisions and also a comprehensive local focused flyer to educate our area on wildfire preparedness. Ken stated that this building was dedicated in 2004 as a Red Cross Emergency Disaster Center. It is the only such center in Mason County. It was utilized during the Bear Gulch Fire in 2006 and in the flooding of 2007.

Chipper Days for May were discussed. Ross McDowell of DEM has promised to fund our project. Jim talked with Beco's Landscape who owns a 12 inch chipper and on a one year trial will do our chipping for $650 per day based on 10 yards of chips generated. Betty made a motion to proceed. After further discussion it was decided we would contract with Beco's for March 29th and our group would then do “clean up” with a rental chipper on the 30th. We need to have all volunteers sign a release of liability before working on the 30th.  All voted in favor with voice vote.

If the trial with Beco's is agreeable to us and the company we might have option of them chipping at the upcoming Stump Dump. Use of DEM funds will leave us more money to fund another future project perhaps in Divisions 12 & 16 as previously discussed. Ice Cream Social, August 4th: Jim received a waiver of fee for the use of the Div. 9 Gazebo. Ross McDowell will have a table and provide DEM information. We also plan on having representation from DNR, the Fire Dept., Security, Block Watch and Community Connections. We are hoping to have the Fire Auxiliary once again sell hot dogs, chips and drinks.

Betty talked with Randy Sterns from Tacoma Power who said if he is not available, he will be sure we have a representative to conduct a tour of the Lake Kokanee Dam. The Windjammers, the band who performed in 2017, will be back for entertainment. They really like our friendly people and beautiful setting. Deanie will contact Olympic Mountain Ice Cream next week.

Meeting adjourned at 1:55 PM

Respectfully submitted, Deanie Sostrich, Secretary


Firewise Meetings
Minutes Apr 4, 2018

Meeting began at 1:30 p.m

Attending were Jim Crawford, Bob Berger, Carl Parker, Anita Floyd, Betty Widing, Deanie and Bill Sostrich

It was decided after report by Anita on her meeting with Patsy Schultz of Emergency Preparedness group, that it would be better to move the Wildfire Emergency Preparedness Event to August and combine it with the Firewise Ice Cream Social.

Information tables and representatives from various agencies would be available for our residents. Many more people are here in August than May so we should have a bigger audience.

It was decided (after learning of conflicting golf tournament and LCMC board meeting scheduled) to hold the Ice Cream Social on August 4th, Saturday. Contacts will be made ASAP with the personnel at the Kokanee Dam to request a tour and with the Windjammers band for entertainment. Anita will put a short announcement in the May Newsletter. Jim will reserve the gazebo at Division 9 Park and hopefully have the fee waived.

Upcoming Chipper Days were discussed. Ken Weaver informed us on 4/5 that the Fire Dept. will pay for rental of Chipper. With our own funds and money earmarked for Firewise by DEM we hope to find a company to contract with to run the chipper. Bill said he would be willing to handle the signup's if the remaining organization work is handled by someone. Jim said he would contact licensed and bonded landscape companies to see who might be a good choice. Publicizing of event needs to start right away.

It was discussed that we cold possibly use a chipper at Stump Dump if the LCMC would be willing to provide and operate theirs. We also explored picking up from people who aren't able to drop off their tree debris at Stump Dump. Procedures for organizing Chipper Days event and Stump Dump were discussed.

Fliers advertising for “Help Wanted” for Firewise were printed and distributed in the receptacles located at mail boxes on Thursday 4/5

More questions were explored regarding the summer burn ban and rules to follow. That issue has yet to be decided ,so we will await word from the Fire Department.

Next meeting will be May 2, at 1 pm at Fire Station.

Deanie Sostrich, Secretary


Special Firewise Annual Meetings
Minutes Mar 20, 2018

Meeting began at 1:30 p.m

Attending: Joe Cochran, Ken Weaver, Anita Floyd, Jim Crawford, Bob Berger, Carl Parker, Dick Krase, Bill Sostrich, Betty Widing, Deanie Sostrich

Election of 2018 officers: Motion by Anita Floyd. Agreed upon by voice vote; Bill Sostrich, President Joe Cochran, Vice President Jim Crawford, Treasurer Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Dick Krase present his Event Profile Template. Purpose is to use this a tool to break projects into simple outlines and recruit volunteers to fill slots in those projects.

There was a discussion of how to proceed with the national Wildfire Emergency Preparedness Day event which is on May 5th. First to be done is to contact all groups and agencies for commitment to an information table. If we are to have a speaker or speakers, that needs to be handled ASAP. Since our event will be just for our Community we could change the Saturday and perhaps give us time for more preparation and choose a date when more residents would be inclined to attend.

There are various reasons for and against the Saturdays suggested. May 5th is the actual national event and is when we have held it in past two years. May 12th is our LCMC Board meeting so might present a problem. May 19th was a good compromise, BUT be aware Bill and Deanie will be in California that weekend for their twin Grandson's High School Graduation. Any other Saturdays in May will be too close to the Memorial Weekend which is definitely not a possible to time for Fire Dept. participation. This date needs to be set before next regular meeting!  We were hoping to include this event in the LCMC Spring Newsletter, but it will not be mailed until May 15th (too late).

Chipper Days is normally held on the 29th and 30th of May. Someone needs to oversee this project with publicity and organization. We have already completed a Event Profile and whoever is willing to oversee the event can use the document to guide them through the process. Ken Weaver said we need to be clear in what size and types of piles Firewise will chip. Time sheets are very important to be included. And since the Stump Dump has usually followed the next weekend our participation and collection of Time Sheets is important for that also. Firewise could include this information in Newsletter.

Betty Widing suggested it is not too early to make plans also for August Ice Cream Social by contacting Tacoma Power and lining up entertainment. She also suggested we list all our events by month on Dick's Event Profile so as we are talking to people in community we can ask for commitments to a specific event.

Bill announced that although the prison workforce is already booked for this year, they should be kept in mind for Firewise projects beginning in 2019. They should be contacted very early (December or January) as they fill up really fast at $1.35 per hour for labor. Group could be a great resource for work in our greenbelts and of course before work is done in the greenbelts, Firewise will need to coordinate with the LCMC.

Next meeting will be April 4th at 1:00 P.M. At Fire Station Adjourned at 2:15 pm.

Firewise Meetings Minutes
 Mar 7, 2018

Meeting began at 1:30 p.m
Financial Report:           Dec 31st 2017
Ending Balance - $9564.11           
Sub Accounts: Emergency Preparedness - $577.00                                 
LED Sign - $138.94                                 
Savings - $5.00  
Deposit - Amazon Smile - $26.38           
Feb 2018 Balance - $9590.49             
In attendance: Bob Berger, Carl Parker, Dick Krase, Betty Widing, Donna Hellyer, Joe Cochran & Bill Sostrich

Old Business: President, Bill Sostrich began meeting with stating he would not continue to act as lead for the group. Lake Cushman Firewise Council has been certified since 2006 and is one of the most active groups in Western Washington. It is time for others to take over management and leadership.  We will hold an Annual Meeting on Mar 20th to elect officers and plan the agenda for this year.  All annual renewals have been completed through January of 2019, but there are many projects and activities that must be decided on.
1.   We own the LED sign at Lake Cushman Grocery. Maintenance, posting and communication with grocery owner is ongoing.
2.  Firewise items stored at Bills home as follows: Overhead projector, address marker driver, 3 boxes of current Firewise flier, several boxes of historical paperwork and brochures
3. Donations are received from AmazonSmile and Fred Meyers
4. We have a website with minutes, documents and contacts that Bill has maintained.
5. Firewise Time sheets are printed, promoted and maintained in order to keep our certified status. If Firewise is desolved, all money in our accounts would have to be turned over to Fire Dist 18 if we don't continue as group (except $577.00 belonging to Emergency Preparedness sub-group, which they could continue to control).

Bill also reminded everyone of plans needing attention before June of this year.  1. Newsletter article by Apr 6th 2. Work on greenbelts discussion with Randy, prison, etc., 3. Emergency Preparedness Day on May 5th and 4. Chipper Days after Memorial Day. Other events we have had in past include Ice Cream Social and another Chipper Day

The group discussion centered on how we should proceed. What we can accomplish will depend on the communities participating (planning, advertising and setting up) the activities. There were no immediate volunteers to lead group, but it was felt if various tasks, projects and events could be broken up and each headed by a separate individual the work would be much more palatable. It was discussed that perhaps we could get more support from LCMC. It was brought up that we need a person going forward who is able to work on grants and with Dept of Emergency Mgt and Department of Natural Resources. Dick talked about perhaps streamlining greenbelt work when new LCMC Mgr is on board. Bill suggested the Shelton based forestry group that worked in our greenbelts in 2001.

Also suggested was dividing group into broad categories of Administration, Interface with Agencies, Interface with Community and Projects Coordinator. It was decided to draw a written outline of “what we do”. Joe suggested we each make a list of our own contacts we have made when working on projects. We need a document with step by step procedures to assist people who work on in future. Dick volunteered to create a templete to use in documenting our projects. 

Emergency Preparedness Day is coming very quickly. If we are going to proceed with that event, prepararations need to begin now. It would be an excellent way to get work out to community about Firewise directions. At upcoming Booster Club meeting 3/14, Bill has volunteered to talk about our plans.

Meeting adjourned at 3 p.m
Respectfully submitted, Deanie Sostrich, Secretary