In two years’ time, 10.9% more mountain residents have thinned or removed trees from their property, according to survey results produced by the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce, a coalition comprised of government agencies, private companies and volunteer organizations in San Bernardino County. In October, 506 residents of the San Bernardino mountains, 127 second homeowners and 109 local business property owners and managers were randomly surveyed with regard to actions taken to protect properties from wildfire. Per San Bernardino County Fire Chief Peter Brierty, “These results confirm the effectiveness of our public education effort to raise the awareness of and participation in fire safety and wildfire prevention programs on the mountaintop.” The survey further indicated that 96% of residents had taken steps toward creating defensible space, and there was a 9% drop in those who did not take preventative steps because they didn’t know what to do. Compared to the survey of January 2007, 18% more residents and nearly 20% more non-residents were aware that trees should be spaced 20-30 feet apart; and nearly 15% more residents were aware of the term “Healthy Forest” and what that means. A key component of the MAST campaign in the last two years has been to increase the awareness of the Forest Care program (offered through the San Bernardino National Forest Association), which reimburses property owners up to 75% of the cost of thinning trees.
Planning Commission Approves Two of Three Items in May Meeting; Affordable Apartment Complex to Be Reviewed on the 26th