While the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power works with the Big Pine Fire Safe Council and CalFire on fuel reduction, the emphasis turns to the community itself this Saturday with an official clean-up day, in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week.
CalFire crews cleared out a three-acre area around the twin silos this past week. The site, part of a Big Pine school lease that abuts the Big Pine Paiute Reservation, had been the scene of a spot brush fire last July and was high on the community’s priority list for clearing. According to school district staff, more than 12 dumpsters, donated by Bishop Waste, were filled with brush and hauled away. District equipment and labor also contributed to the clearing project.
The focus of the council’s Big Pine clean-up day, Saturday, Oct. 13, is on residents doing fuel reduction around their own homes, creating defensible space to reduce fire risk. “We are asking neighbors to help those people who may not be able to perform the physical work themselves or need assistance in getting the waste to the dump or dumpsters,” said Debra Hein, fire mitigation specialist with the Inyo National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management.
Home projects include cleaning leaves and debris from gutters and roofs, trimming dead branches overhanging roofs and trimming trees 10 feet from chimneys, skirting trees six feet from the ground and removing dried vegetation and stacks of construction materials from yards.
To help with the effort. Inyo County is waiving fees for the disposal of natural vegetation at the Big Pine Transfer Station for area residents. Caltrans has donated heavy-duty bags and Preferred Septic and Disposal has donated the use of three roll-off dumpsters to be staged at the old Care Center area on County Road, Mendenhall Park at School Street and Baker Creek Road and the Wellness Center at 545 Butcher Ln.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help pick up green waste from homes, man the trash containers or help neighbors with their clean-up is asked to call Kent Schlick at (760) 938-2868.
Fire Safe Council members will be headquartered at Mendenhall Park from 8 a.m.-noon, providing more detailed information to homeowners.