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Updates from The Chair

March 13, 2023

Please join the community of South County Fire Safe Councils on Monday, March 13, 2023, for a presentation on the South County Fuel Reduction Project.  The AFFSC area will benefit from the work funded through this grant.  This will be a great opportunity to have your questions answered, and see the work proposed as part of this grant.

We hope to see you there.

Janet Barentson, Chair

Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council

WHAT:      Public Information Meeting for the South County Fuel Reduction Grant/Project

WHEN:     6:30-8:00pm, Monday, March 13, 2023

WHERE:    Fireman's Hall, 7060 Mt. Aukum Rd, Somerset (across from Fire Station 38) , also hosted on ZOOM (link below)

The South County Fuel Reduction Grant project involves roadside fuel reduction and the creation of a few strategically located shaded fuelbreaks across six area Fire Safe Council territories; it is funded by a generous grant through CAL FIRE.

The Resource Conservation District (RCD) is managing the project; one or more representatives from the RCD will be in attendance at the meeting.


Information and updates about the project are/will be posted here:

Topic: South County Fuel Reduction Meeting
Time: Mar 13, 2023 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 852 9628 5147
Passcode: 391191

January 5,2023
Happy New Year,
Please see the following message from the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council regarding their chipping and defensible space programs for seniors, veterans and low income community members.  Please share with friends and neighbors who could benefit from these programs.
Janet Barentson, Chair

From: Ken Pimlott <>
Subject: Chipping and Defensible Space Assistance Programs
Good Morning,
I am sure that working on chipping and defensible space projects is not at the forefront of our thoughts right now as we experience these strong winter storms. I did, however, want to make everyone aware that both the chipping program and Defensible Space Assistance Program for seniors, veterans and low-income community members are still open and accepting applications. As weather and access allow, contractors are available to perform jobs. I encourage interested community members to access the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council website and apply so that they are in the queue.
Please stay safe.
Ken Pimlott, Chair
El Dorado County Fire Safe Council\

July 2022  (from the Summer Newsletter)

Friends of the AFFSC,
Summer has arrived, and with it we are well into Fire Season. As wildfire activity picks up, we should all increase our attention to the variety of resources available to monitor conditions and provide awareness to fire activity nearby. Fire activity can be monitored at CAL FIRE’s website, , and locally through the CAL FIRE Amador-El Dorado Unit Facebook page, or nation-ally at . Knowing what is occurring in your area will al-low you to make decisions early, including putting together your important papers and irreplaceable items so you can leave if necessary. This issue of the Wildfire Roundup provides useful information for being “SET”, or prepared to leave in case of wildfire. Most importantly, however, YOU are the most valuable item, so if an evacuation order is issued, GO. This was never more evident than during last summer’s Caldor Fire, when some residents were given only minutes to get out of harm’s way. You can find important evacuation preparedness resources at

The AFFSC was pleased to host its first Green Waste Disposal Day this past month. The event allowed residents to bring excess vegetation to the dumpsite, where Hargo’s Land Management donated their time and equipment to unload vehicles and chip material into dumpsters. Additionally, the AFFSC Defensible Space Evaluation Team was on site to provide information and schedule defensi-ble space evaluation site visits. Fifty-seven loads of green waste were removed from the community, helping to lessen the fire risk. A huge THANK YOU to the Hargo’s team and the AFFSC volunteers who made the day a big success!

I am pleased to announce that the AFFSC, in coordination with the Diamond Springs, Oak Hill, Omo Ranch, Sand Ridge and Patterson Ranch Fire Safe Coun-cils, was awarded a CAL FIRE Fire Prevention Grant for over $2 million to com-plete fuel reduction work along the primary evacuation routes and to implement four shaded fuel areas within the overall project area. This grant will treat over 32 miles of roadways and provide shaded fuel breaks over 447 acres throughout the south county over the next three years. The AFFSC’s Mike Pinette played a significant role in this grant effort, and we thank him for all his work! Watch for up-coming community meetings for further details on the implementation of these projects. 

Finally, in June, the AFFSC held its annual Executive Board elections. Vice Chair Ed Matwich, one of the founding members of the AFFSC, announced he was stepping down from the Executive Board. He will continue to participate as an AFFSC Councilmember. Councilmember Mike Pinette was elected to the Vice-Chair position for the upcoming year, joining Secretary Kim Biskner, Treasurer Sandra Hodnett, Member-at-Large Ken Pimlott and myself, who were each reelect-ed. On behalf of the AFFSC, I would like to thank Ed for all his contributions to the AFFSC.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Wildfire Round-up!
Janet Barentson, Chair
Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council

April 9, 2022

The El Dorado County Fire Safe Council is presenting a Defensible Space Workshop on April 23, 2022 at 10:00 AM

This workshop will provide information on best defensible space practices, native vs. non native plantings, and studies of the effectiveness of defensible space during recent fires, including the Camp Fire.  It will be followed by a companion workshop on Firewise Landscaping to be held on June 11, 2022 (details to be provided later).

This is meeting is both via Zoom and in person at the Diamond Springs Firefighters' Memorial Hall.

Please register in advance for the Zoom option:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


This will be an informative workshop, and I hope to see you there!

April 7, 2022

Join Us for a Wildfire Safety Webinar
Placer and El Dorado Counties
Wednesday, April 13 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.

We invite you to join us for an interactive webinar where we will discuss our 2022 wildfire safety efforts. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and share feedback with the PG&E team, including the area’s Regional Vice President.

Register today »

Learn more »

To keep our customers and communities safe, we continue to take targeted action to reduce wildfire risk across every part of our operations, respond to our state’s changing climate and focus every day on safety.

Topics Include:

PG&E’s progress on wildfire prevention activities

What’s new for 2022

Increased powerline protection to reduce outages

Improved coordination for faster restoration times

Additional customer resources to prepare for wildfire season and outages

To access the webinar or view recordings of past wildfire safety webinars, visit »

Do you have a plan to stay safe? For more information, including tips on how you and your family can stay safe in the event of an emergency, please visit »

April 7, 2022

Please see the following information regarding forest management of small parcels recently released by CAL FIRE.


February 16, 2022

Please see the following release from the California Insurance Commissioner.

CDI Update: Commissioner Lara and state emergency agencies announced “Safer from Wildfires” framework to protect existing homes and communities

December 23, 2021

Dear Friends of the AFFSC,

As 2021 comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and share with you the activities and accomplishments of the Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council over the last year.

In July, I was honored to become your Chair for the AFFSC.  I would like again to take this opportunity to thank John Hess for leading the effort to establish this Fire Safe Council, serving as its first Chairperson, and galvanizing our residents towards building a fire resilient community.

These efforts truly paid off during the Caldor Fire.  Although the fire only grazed our Fire Safe Council area, most of our residents were either directly or indirectly impacted by evacuations or assisting others.  You all truly stepped up to help one another.  The communications network and information sharing successes were in large part a result of the Fire Safe Council efforts and our relationship with the community and our partners.  Additionally, the community efforts to help our neighbors demonstrates our strength over adversity.

Despite the fire and the challenges with COVID-19, we have accomplished so much this year, including:

  • We sponsored two webinars, highlighting critical information surrounding fire insurance issues and preparing defensible space around our homes. 
  • We held a contest for Wildfire Prevention Week highlighting evacuation preparedness. 
  • We participated with our neighboring South County Fire Safe Councils and the Pioneer Fire Protection District in medical helicopter orientation and awareness fair. 
  • And the highlight of 2021 is the renewal of the AFFSC as a Firewise Community.  Some insurance providers are providing a discount for Firewise Communities.  A copy of our Firewise Certification can be found on our website at

We are already working on projects and activities for 2022.  These include presentations on lessons learned from the Caldor Fire, participating in a fuel reduction grant application submittal through CAL FIRE with several South County Fire Safe Council partners and a roadside clearance vegetation management project with the El Dorado County Resource Conservation District.  Additionally, we are partnering with the Pioneer School District on a community volunteer clean-up project at Pioneer Elementary School.

Thank you all for your dedication to our community and your support of our Fire Safe Council.  I look forward to continuing our efforts in the upcoming year.  I wish you and your families a wonderful Holiday Season and Happy New Year!

Janet Barentson, Chair

Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council


August 31, 2021

AFFSC Friends,

Please see the message below from the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council.  I encourage you to share with anyone you think might be in need of assistance relating to the effects of the Caldor Fire.

Take care of yourself and each other.


Janet Barentson, Chair

Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council

I hope this email finds you safe. I want to share with you that the Department has currently set up in person Local Assistance Centers (LAC) to help wildfire survivors in El Dorado County. Please come and talk to the staff from the California Department of Insurance at the following Local Assistance Center (LAC) and share this with your community. Below is the location and timings:

El Dorado County LAC – Caldor Fire

El Dorado Center of Folsom Lake College
6699 Campus Dr.
Placerville, CA 95667

Dates and Hours of Operation (Additionally, please check the link below before visiting):
8/30/21, Monday 10:00am to 5:00pm 
8/31/21, Tuesday 10:00am to 5:00pm
9/1/21, Wednesday 1:00pm to 7:00pm 
9/2/21, Thursday 10:00am to 5:00pm
9/3/21, Friday 10:00am to 5:00pm

Below is the link for the LAC update:

For your information and to share with your communities as you deem appropriate.

Stay safe and well.

Steve Willis

Lakehills Fire Safe Council

EDC Fire Safe Council

August 30, 2021

AFFSC Friends,

Please see the link below for downgrades to evacuation orders from mandatory to warnings and the elimination of evacuation warnings for certain areas in our community.  Please make sure you heed the direction of law enforcement and firefighters these areas are repopulated.

While we are locally turning the corner towards the end of this terrible incident, please keep in mind those who are facing losses of their property, those who are just now dealing with fire in their communities, and the thousands of first responders who are making their best effort to keep everyone safe. 

Take care of each other.


August 22,2021

From Janet Barentson
AFFSC Friends,

Please see the following news releases distributed by the California Department of Insurance, and shared by the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council.  Please share this information with friends and neighbors who have been affected by this tragic event.

Please stay safe, follow the orders from fire officials and law enforcement, and take care of one another.

Janet Barentson, Chair
Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council

Councils: Good Afternoon and we hope everyone is staying safe.

Recently there have been a couple of insurance related news releases out from the California Department of Insurance with a request that they be forwarded out to residents and communities.

I am attaching the links to these documents here for your information in case you have not seen them. This is for your information and distribution to your communities as you deem appropriate.

The links are also available on the Ca. Dept. of insurance website;

Wildfire survivors now covered by new insurance protections

Consumer alert: Wildfire evacuees could be eligible for expenses under their current insurance policy Consumer alert: Wildfire evacuees could be eligible for expenses under their current insurance policy

Stay well and thank you for all you do.

Steve Willis
Lakehills Fire Safe Council
EDC Fire Safe Council

August 19,2021

AFFSC Friends,

El Dorado County has developed a Caldor Fire Information Website, at, which consolidates information regarding the status of the Caldor Fire, Evacuation and Shelter information, and resources to assist with recovery.  Additionally, it includes information about how to vote if you are displaced from your home or unable to retrieve your ballot.  This is a good resource page, and will most likely be updated for additional recovery resources as that becomes available.

Please share this website with our community members who have been affected by this tragedy.

As always, stay safe and take care of each other.



AFFSC Friends,

Please see the informative email below from the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council on how we can help our neighbors affected by the Caldor Fire.

Please continue to stay safe, take care of one another, and keep those who have lost their homes and property in your thoughts.


Janet Barentson, Chair

Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council

From: Ken Pimlott
Good Evening Councils:

Many of you have inquired how to support our fellow community members during this time of need. In addition to the Red Cross relief efforts that I shared earlier, The El Dorado Community Foundation has established a Caldor Fire Fund. The following is a link to their donation page:

The El Dorado County Community Foundation has also established the following link for impacted residents to apply for relief:

Please share this information with your community members. As a resident of the El Dorado County, I could not be more proud of our community during this challenging emergency. You truly embody the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor. 

Please be safe.

Ken Pimlott


February 17, 2021


Given the fire activity and evacuations in our area, I am cancelling tomorrow’s AFFSC August Council Meeting.

Please look for Calder Fire updates and evacuation information at the following websites:

The next Council meeting is scheduled for September 15, 2021.

Be safe and take care of each other!



AFFSC Friends,

The Calder Fire is certainly on our minds and we should be paying close attention to information coming out through social media and the various websites.

Impending weather will be impacting the fire area:

“An unusually gusty early season northerly wind event is expected Tuesday through Wednesday night with increasing wind flows area-wide today. Based on how flammable the fuels are, current & newly ignited fires will likely spread rapidly, especially when there is wind-slope alignment. Today through Wednesday night is a critical Watch-Out period, especially due to the expected changeable gusty wind conditions (i.e. movement of fire & smoke) across the region. A High Risk has been issued for large portions of the area.”

Everyone should have a “Go-Bag” ready should evacuations be ordered for our area. Please visit the following resources:

Pre-evacuation Steps:

Emergency evacuation Kit:

If you have not signed up for Code Red, DO SO NOW!  Visit the website at , or call the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office at 530-621-5895.  The EDSO is actively using Code Red as additional evacuation areas are being ordered.

Finally, if at any time you feel uncomfortable, GO.  Evacuate to someplace safe.  Let your family and friends know you have evacuated.  Do not place yourself in harms way.

We are a wonderful community and let’s take care of each other.

Be safe!


February 10, 2021

As part of the Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council’s (AFFSC) mission, in 2019, we completed a Risk Assessment and identified a number of potential projects throughout our Council area, primarily to reduce overgrown vegetation along roadways.  In order to apply for grant funding to begin work on these projects, the development of a Vegetation Management Plan is needed.  Over the next month, you may see staff along roadways taking pictures of the general area and gathering information for the plan. We look forward to completing the plan and working on future vegetation reduction projects to help make our communities more fire safe. 

 If you have any questions about the work of the AFFSC, please visit our website at or email us at