News from Tri-County FireSafe Working Group:

June 25-26 "Are We Next" Presentations

June was highlighted with our “Are We Next” presentations at the Myrna Loy on the 25th and Helena Middle School on the 26th. Tony Gossner, the Fire Chief from Santa Rosa California, shared his experiences during and after the devastating fires that struck Santa Rose in October of last year. He talked about things that worked well for them and things that went wrong and he explained ideas on how to improve our situation.

Dr. Mark Finney discussed how fire has been a major factor in the evolution of our forests, how the forests have suffered by its removal, and how we need to work together to reintroduce fire into the landscape. A big “Thank You” to Bob Drake and the Tri-Lake Volunteer Fire Department for delicious BBQ, though somewhat dampened by a thunderstorm on Monday evening, the DNRC for showing our guest and other fire officials around on Tuesday with a guided helicopter tour, Capital Transit for providing a bus for the bus tour following, Safeway for providing lunch for the participants, the Myrna Loy and Helena Middle School for being great hosts, Comfort Suites for comping rooms for our guest, and our partners listed on the next page. Big high fives to the committee pictured above, and especially Pat McKelvey who comes up with ideas like these and makes them happen. And again, thanks to Chief Gossner, who took three days from his hectic schedule of rebuilding his city, to help us learn from his experiences. Oh yes, and a another “Thanks” to Rocky and Michelle for a boat tour through the Gates of the Mountains with my wife JJ, myself, and Chief Gossner on a beautiful pontoon boat loaned by Marshal Trainor at the Boat Loft on Holter Lake.

In addition to all of this going on, we have been proceeding with fuel reduction projects at a rapid pace. We have received more than 50 applications and are processing them as quickly as we can. We also issued on update on our
Regional Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which is available at our website,

We were happy to hear that the BLM is adding additional funding the our Community Assistance Grant which we use for fuel reduction projects and outreach. Thank you BLM and Terina Goicoechea, our BLM representative!

- Ray Prill, Executive Director

Click here to read the full Tri-County FireSafe Working Group July 2018 Newsletter

Standing: Duane Harp, Sean Logan, Pat McKelvey, Ray Prill, Louis Olsen, Doug Dodge, Chief Gossner, Dr. Finney, Rocky Infanger. Seated: Sunny Stiger. Not pictured: Ed Shindoll, Doris Davis, Mike McFerrrin, Kathy Bushnell

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