Communities of Inyo and Mono are listed on the federal register as at risk areas for fire. The bad news – we face serious fire danger. The good news – our counties have a chance to try tfor grant money to protect against wildfire.
Inyo County, Mammoth Lakes Fire, the Forest Service and BLM got together to come up with two County Wildfire Protection Plans. The final draft plan is now underway by Anchor Point Fire Management.
Chris White of that consulting firm said that both Inyo and Mono counties have a long fire history. Major fires burned scores of acres in Mono County about 5 years ago. Fires just outside the Town of Mammoth blackened many acres. The disastrous Inyo Complex Fire burned thousands of acres above Independence and Big Pine in the summer of 2007.
These fires made local citizens more aware of the dangers. Residents formed local Fire Safe Councils to work on protection. Many of them attended recent meetings to make sure their communities would gain protection.
Deputy County Administrator for Inyo, Chuck Hamilton, said that the consultants will include comments from recent public meetings in Inyo-Mono, finish up a final draft and send it back out. When all agencies buy in, the firm will release the final plans, probably in late March.
The existence of the plan could open doors to grant money to help with fire protection in many of our towns.