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FireSafe Council budget facing cuts

Mendocino County FireSafe Council website
Mendocino County FireSafe Council taking a tour of Mendocino Redwood Company land.

June 8, 2020 — It’s a big week for the Board of Supervisors, with budget, cannabis, COVID-19, homelessness, and Dr. Doohan’s contract as public health officer on the agendas for meetings in the next two days. One item that had garnered dozens of letters as of late this morning was a proposal to slash the Mendocino County FireSafe Council’s budget to $25,000. 

Scott Cratty is the relatively new Executive Director of the organization, which guides neighborhood groups into organizing their own local firesafe councils. He wants the county to commit at least $50,000, so he can continue to build on the work that’s gone into the project in the last few years. “Grants fund a lot of great things,” he said of the money the FireSafe Council is already using for road-clearing projects and Spanish-language outreach; “but the money from the county is really what we rely on to be able to keep the lights on and pay for insurance and have staff and have phones and have internet and more importantly, being able to get out and be in the community...and at $25,000, we would probably have to scale that back pretty significantly.” He pointed out that, even though temperatures have been cool the past few days, the region is heading into another drought year, which increases fire hazards in the wildland urban interface.

And, he added, the FireSafe Council is planning a fuel reduction project on Nash Mill Road in Anderson Valley, which has already had a fire this year. “So, kind of timely proof that what we’re doing is super important,” he opined. “Time to be getting prepared.”

To comment live on this or any other item on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda, you can fill out the form at the bottom of this page, before 8:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting. You can also email a written comment to bos@mendocinocounty.org.

To learn more about how to form a firesafe council in your neighborhood, you can visit firesafemendocino.org.

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