Tuesday, Feb, 10, 2009 • Impact of drought on fire danger discussed at Clear Creek CSD meeting

Discussion at the Tuesday, Feb. 3, meeting of the Clear Creek Community Services District Board of Directors focused on the current drought in California and its potential impact on the Clear Creek community.

Lassen County Supervisor Bob Pyle said he would make sure Clear Creek was on the list for a firebreak around the town to help protect it from wildfires.

Ken Sasser, maintenance manager, said the district should take proactive steps in helping homeowners make their properties fire safe.

All agreed if the weather did not change and bring snow to the area, the fire danger would be extremely high during the summer months. Director Jeff Allen said he had not taken his snowmobile off the trailer all winter because there wasn’t enough snow to ride it.

The discussion was triggered by the action item on the agenda, which was to allot money to send three volunteer firefighters from Clear Creek to a training session that would give them the credentials to act as a wildland fire strike team. The estimated cost of the training was $1,300 per person.

Fire Chief John Yderraga said the cost was too high and the Clear Creek Fire Department did not have enough manpower or equipment to send a strike team to a wildfire. The team would need to take one fire truck, which could not be spared.

Director John Hunter said he could see where the training would be beneficial to the Clear Creek community, but the district might look for training sessions that were more affordable.

Director Christine Sasser agreed. She stated the training could be beneficial to the community, but they needed to find something less costly.

The board decided to table the action item and look at other training options.

A sign that the state is in a drought was highlighted when Sasser announced the spring measurement at the top of the pipe, which he had recently taken. It was 12 3/4 inches.

According to Pat Mudrich, general manager for the Clear Creek CSD, in Feb. 2005 the spring measurement was 13.75 and in Feb. 2006 it was 15.75. This indicated it was lower than usual.

The next meeting of the Clear Creek CSD is scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 3 at 7 p.m. in the downstairs fire house.