Free Curbside “Chipping” Available Until the End of August

The 2014 Pine Cone Festival

If  you haven’t cleared your yard of fire hazards (dried weeds, branches, ect.) you’d better get that rake out NOW and start because fire season is here already. With California’s lack of rainfall and snow this past winter and spring it is especially important that homeowners and renters make sure their properties are as “bare of fuels” as possible.

Thanks to Laura Dyberg of the Mountain Rim fire Safe Council she passes along the following information:

  • Clear brush and small trees on your property. With that in mind, thanks to funding from Cal Fire’s State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund  the Mountain Rim Fires Safe Council will provide curbside “chipping” this month.
  • The target weekend for Green Valley Lake, Running Springs and Arrowbear will be August 15 and 16. The target weekend for Crestline is August 22 and 23.
  • The purpose of Chipper Days is to help residents and property owners to reduce fire hazards such as slash and ladder fuels (branches, ect.) The “biomass” will be chipped for environmentally friendly disposal. “Ladder fuels” are those dry grasses, branches, ect. that can start a fire and then it soon goes into higher trees and plants and becomes a much more difficult fire.

To participate, complete the defensible space work on your property (or hire someone to do it for you) no later than the Sunday of the target weekend in your area. Stack the material to be chipped on the edge of your property along a road or driveway or on a an area which will allow the chipping crew to work alongside the pile safely. For more information go to the Mountain Rim Firesafe Council’s website at to make an online curbside chipping request no later than 6 p.m. on the Sunday of the target weekend. If you do not have a computer you can call (866) 923-3473 and leave a message and a volunteer staff member will return your call within 24 hours.

What can be accepted for disposal? The following types of slash can be accepted: clean brush and tree trunks or branches with diameters of eight inches or less. The following types of materials cannot be accepted: rootballs, grass, leaves, loose bark, pine needles or other yard waste as well as bagged material, painted or preserved wood, trash, materials containing rocks, dirt, metal, nails, screws, fasteners, wire or twine. Absolutely no materials from construction sites can be accepted for this program.

For more information visit the Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council at: At this site you can get information on future chipping dates, both drop-off and curbside service, coming to your area.



Latest Information on “Lake Fire”: Friday, June 19

From the U.S. Forest Service: Lake Fire Update as of 8 a.m. on Friday, June 19

The fire has burned 11,000 acres, 400 structures are threatened but none have been lost.

The fire continues to burn in the eastern San Bernardino Mountains near the San Gorgonio Wildnerness.

Firefighters are focusing their efforts to prevent the fire from crossing Hwy 38. Ten engines and a bulldozer are patrolling in the Morongo Valley and Pioneer town areas today (Friday, June 19, 2015).

Last night fire crews directly attacked the fire’s edge and protected structures.

Hwy. 38 remains closed from Angelus Oaks to Lake Williams. Jenks Lake Road is closed. Evacuations includes areas east of Angelus Oaks including Barton Flats, Seven Oaks, Rainbow Lane, Heart Bar and all cabins and campgrounds in the South Fork area. The American Red Cross has a standby location to address any future sheltering or evacuation center needs.

All hiking trails into the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area are closed due to the proximity of the fire to them. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Whitewater Preserve to Onyx Summit.

SoCal Team 1, a federal inter-agency fire team,is managing the fire and has set up the Incident Command Post at Big Bear High School. Forest Service, San Bernardino County Fire, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s and CalFire are working together in a unified command.



Fire Burning Near Jenk’s Lake: Evacuations Underway

The U.S. Forest Service has just sent a news update on the Lake Fire that is burning east of Camp de Benneville Pines and south of Jenks Lake Road in the San Bernardino National Forest. According to the Forest Service the closest community near Jenk’s Lake is Angeles Oaks, off Hwy. 38. Recent information has also been received from Laura Dyberg of the Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council so I have combined and updated as much of the information as possible.

Currently, 7,500 acres have burned and at the time of the forest service press release  the fire continues to burn as it is only five percent contained. The cause of the fire is under investigation. In the information Laura  Dyberg released she said that 500 personnel, 32 engines, five air tankers, 13 crews, eight water tenders and three bulldozers are on the scene.

At the time of this release the fire was being fought by 32 fire engines, two air tankers,, seven helicopters (including those that are considered night-flying helicopters), one air-attack plane, 13 crews, eight water tenders and three bulldozers. Additional firefighting resources have been ordered.

The management of the fire i s under a Unified Command with San Bernardino County Fire and San Bernardino County Sheriff. A type 2 Interagency Incident team is expected to take over managing the “incident (AKA fire)” at 6 p.m. tonight.

Information I received from Laura Dyberg of the Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council said that structures are threatened.  All hiking trails into the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area have been closed Preserve to Onyx Summit.due to the proximity of the fire to many hiking trails. Also, the Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Whitewater  Preserve to Onyx Summit.


A Present You Probably Wouldn’t Think About Giving….But You Could Be Glad You Did!

It may not be a terribly exciting holiday gift but here’s something to consider……purchase a smoke detector for your family, if they have a new home or live in a home or apartment that doesn’t have one or have enough. It’s not glamorous but in certain situations it could definitely be a life saver.

The suggestion came from the Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council. It’s a great idea! If you haven’t replaced the batteries in the existing one you may have, buy some new batteries and insert them. A smoke detector with dead batteries is no help to anyone!


Love Your Christmas Tree and Then Trash It!

One of my favorite Christmas Carols is the one that was sung by the late, wonderful singer Bing Crosby entitled “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and it is! With that in mind, people are purchasing beautiful, fragrant trees and they’re getting the decorations out of storage to hang on the their delicious smelling tree.

That being said, when the trees begin to shed their pine needles and it’s time to “say goodbye” to them for the year far too many people burn them in their fireplaces. If you’re thinking that it would be a great idea for “last of the season” fragrant fire you might be right but you’d be so sorry if you did. By the time the pine needles have been staying around a couple of weeks or more in the living room they’re dry and igniting them in the fireplace is a really bad idea because that tree could simply explode upon being lit.

memorial trees for children 3That lovely tree that you decide to incinerate in the fireplace could end up burning down your house. Each year hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of fires worldwide are started by people attempting to burn their trees. Did you know that Christmas tree fires kill an average of six people a year and they lead to 22 injuries? Just to “top it all off” how about $8.3 million in direct property damage? The electrical issues involved were factors in 33 percent of the fires. Is it worth the risk? I don’t think so!

Here’s some suggestions for keeping your home and tree safe: Keep the trunk in water and check the water levels daily. Locate any tree away from source of heat. Properly install holiday lights. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. While it may be tempting to keep the tree up for a while after the holidays it’s not a good idea. In fact, the best time to remove it is right after the holidays are over.

This is one of those occasions where the phrase, “better safe than sorry” truly is the best policy!






R.S, AB and GVL Residents——Attend this Important “Fire” Community Meeting

As terrifying as it is to think about the fact is that this is the most serious fire season in decades. While the members and associates of the Rim Fire Safe Council can’t stop a fire from igniting they can give residents as much information as possible so they can help themselves in an emergency. This important community event will be held at the Robert Hootman Senior/Community Center on Running Springs School Road (next to Charles Hoffman Elementary School).

Do not miss the Wednesday, July 10 community meeting at 6:30 p.m. to hear how to keep your family and property safe during this dangerous fire season.

Agencies that will participate in this forum will include the Running Springs, Arrowbear Lake, CalFire, the U.S. Forest Service and San Bernardino County Fire departments and other partners will share the history of fires in “our” mountains and what they are doing to prepare and the details of the current perilous conditions.

After the program be sure and stay to learn how you can do a better job protecting your family, home and property from the wildland fires that threaten our community and most importantly, what to do when wildfires strike “our” area.

Call 866-923=-FIRE or visit for more information. Watch for future meeting dates in other communities.

Wildfires in our mountains……………………it’s not “if” it’s “When.” Are you ready?

Inland Empire Fire Safe Councils Support Sen. Gaines Efforts to Repeal Fire Tax

Fire Safe Council Logo (used by the CFSC and local fire safe councils)In a recent press release from the Inland Empire Fire Safe Alliance it stated that the organization, composed of 14 fire safe councils in the Inland Empire, supports  Senator Gaines efforts to repeal the fire Tax that charges “rural” homeowners $150 per year for fire services provided by the state. Many people, including the Senator, strongly believe the “fee” is really a “tax” and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association has filed suit charging that the “tax” is illegal because property owners in rural areas already pay for fire protection with their local fire departments.

“We have opposed it  from the beginning. It will not add more engines to fight fires. It does not benefit CalFire or our local fire departments directly and it targets people who live in rural areas while ignoring the fact that wildfires impact everyone in California. We believe this is a budgetary shell game that will do nothing to save our homes in the next wildfire,” said the release.

The agencies involve include the Angelus Oaks, Big Bear Valley, Carbon Canyon, Intercanyon League (Orange County), Lytle Creek, Mill Creek, Mt. Baldy, Mountain Communities (greater Idyllwild area), Mountain Rim, Oak Glen, Rancho Cucamonga, San Antonio Heights,  Southwest Riverside, Temecula Wine Country and the Wrightwood Fire Safe Councils. The Snow Creek Village H0meowner’s Association is also a member of alliance.

The council meets bi-monthly and they discuss fire issues in the own communities as well as county and statewide. They work closely and collaborate with the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, San Bernardino County, the Crest Forest Fire Protection District, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the San Bernardino National Forest Association and the Running Springs and Arrowhead Lake Fire Departments.