About the Orleans/Somes Bar Fire Safe Council

benburns.jpgThe MKWC Fire and Fuels Program conducts wildfire safety and fuels reduction work via the Orleans/Somes Bar Fire Safe Council (OSBFSC), a local chapter of the California Fire Safe Council that serves the Mid Klamath area from near Weitchpec to Dillon Creek. OSBFSC was established in 2001, before MKWC existed. With MKWC as a non-profit umbrella, OSBFSC was able to increase its capacity, secure and effectively manage funding, and become integrated with MKWC’s other restoration programs.

Since 2001, the OSB FSC has secured nearly $1 million dollars to conduct hazard fuels reduction, prescribed burning and wildfire prevention planning in the Wildland Urban Interface. To date we have treated over 1000 acres and coordinated over 30 volunteer workdays on private property throughout our planning area. In 2010, with our partners, OSBFSC completed the Orleans/Somes Bar Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) which outlines a course of action over the next ten years and beyond for protecting our communities from wildfire  Learn more about our fuels reduction opportunities and our Prescribed Burning Program.

The OSBFSC holds quarterly meetings at the Panamnik Building in Orleans. These meetings are open to the public and include updates on fire planning efforts from the USFS, Karuk Tribe Fire Program, OSBFSC, and Orleans Volunteer Fire Department. Other meetings held in individual neighborhoods, are a chance for residents to problem solve and communicate about fire preparedness issues specific to their places. Notes from neighborhood meetings and FSC meetings are available to the public upon request. Suggestions and concerns brought up in these meetings can be incorporated in to the Community  Wildfire Protection Plan.

Contact MKWC to find out when the next meeting will be.

The MKWC Fire and Fuels program has a popular landowner rebate program called FLASH: Fire-adapted Landscapes And Safe Homes. The FLASH program is for property located in Humboldt County only. Since 2010 landowners in the Orleans area have accomplished over 75 acres of hazardous fuels reduction through this program. Landowners do their own brushing and receive a partial reimbursement for the expenses they incurred. This program is offered every other year. Please call to find out if your project qualifies and to be put on a waiting list.

MKWC has been hosting a Klamath Fire Ecology Symposium once every three years. The powerpoint presentations from the 2008, 2011, and 2014 Klamath Fire Ecology Symposia are now available on our website:  Klamath Fire Ecology Symposium.

Orleans is a nationally recognized “Firewise Community MKWC has been playing a leadership role along with the Orleans Volunteer Fire Department and the Karuk Tribe in planning and hosting neighborhood meetings and educational events in the local river communities. Firewise is a program of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In 2014 NFPA awarded Orleans, along with four other communities in the country a grand prize for the community’s work to become prepared for wildfire.

Check out a volunteer fuels reduction project on Lower Camp Creek in Orleans:

For more information contact MKWC in Orleans, CA at 530 627 3202