Last week, representatives from six local fire agencies attended a meeting on the Big Bear Valley Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Each agency shared what accomplishments have been made since the Community Wildfire Protection Plan was written in 2006. After the Old Fire of 2003, the Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council discussed strategies necessary to protect the communities within the Big Bear Valley, eventually collaborating on the Protection Plan. The City of Big Bear Lake hired Fire Fuels Program Coordinator David Yegge to help write it, which Interim Fire Chief Mark Mills says the communities of the Big Bear Valley “are methodically implementing”. The accomplishments include ordinances calling for the replacement of wood shake shingle roofs by over the next few years; curbside chipping programs; water distribution system improvements; tree-thinning and brush clearing projects; an improved evacuation plan; installation of a Valley-wide siren system; and the dedication of our local media to provide updates to the community during emergencies. David Yegge said the biggest praise should go to the U.S. Forest Service for helping with significant grant funding for projects.
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