Fire Safe Council Seeks Funding from Board

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At a recent board of supervisors meeting, Barbra Cone of the Fire Safe Council reported on the progress the non-profit organization has made and the services it provides to the county aboe the past three years under her leadership.

The council, consisting of Cone and her office manager Patti Burgess, made a request to the board for additional funding in several different areas. Cone emphasized the need for administrative funding for the council, including the need of a public office that county residents can access.

One of the most important services that the Fire Safe Council provides is the preparation and application of grants for the implementation of fuel breaks, which often requires collaborative efforts with CAL FIRE and others.

These fuel breaks are the best way to prevent wildfires from spreading, serving as the first line of defense for many properties in the county. The council has worked to get several fire breaks in place throughout Mariposa County, with about 80 percent of their grant applications being accepted.

The brush and chip program is another service it offers, although a look at the website and as stated in Cone’s presentation shows that all funds for the program have been allocated and those who wish to enter into it must be put on a waiting list. This program helps “disadvantaged residents [of Mariposa County] who are physically or financially not able to maintain their 100-foot defensible space,” by hiring contractors and public help to clear piles of brush and tree limbs.

The council also participates in the Wildfire Risk Reduction and Asset Protection Project (WRRAPP), which is a “statewide effort to sustain affordable fire insurance in the fire prone areas.” WRRAPP works with the insurance commissioner’s office in Sacramento with the goal to get consistent standards, transparent risk models, transparent scoring, and improve eligibility for people in fire prone areas. As a proponent of this program, the council can make a huge impact for all homeowners of Mariposa County.

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