Tax talks progress as wildfire awareness week arrives

  Tax talks progress as wildfire awareness week arrives

5 May 2008

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Ca, USA — After years of work, the Amador Fire Protection Authority, which is made up of representatives from the seven fire districts in the county, hopes to win approval of the Amador County Board of Supervisors to place a sales-tax measure on the November ballot.

If approved by the supervisors, the measure will be asking the voters of Amador County to add one half-cent to the sales tax, proceeds of which will be devoted to paid firefighter-emergency medical personnel.

The tax will be officially known as the “Fire Protection and Emergency Response Services Tax.” The fire districts will continue to work on details and suggested changes to the draft ordinance passed around at last Thursday’s meeting of the AFPD by County Administrative Officer Terri Daly. Daly hopes to receive all comments and suggestions by May 29, the date of the last meeting prior to the June 10 deadline for submission to the supervisors.

Much was said at the meeting about this special sales tax as the first step in the process that may eventually lead to consolidation of the firefighters into one cohesive force. Jackson, Sutter Creek and the Amador Fire Protection District are already working closely together. Jackson Valley Fire Protection District and the Ione Fire Department have begun working on a consolidation.

The week of May 4 to 10 has also been proclaimed Wildfire Awareness Week in California.

This year’s theme, “Why 100 Feet? Because defensible space is your responsibility,” highlights the homeowners’ roles in helping their property survive a wildfire while giving firefighters a safe area.

The most important step a homeowner can take is to remove all flammable vegetation and any dead or dying plants within 30 feet of each building or structure in what is called the “lean, clean and green zone,” and then reducing the amount of vegetation in the “fuel reduction zone” (the remaining 70 feet or to property line), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. If homeowners create defensible space and encourage others in their community to take the same steps, they can help prevent losses when a wildfire strikes and give firefighters a margin of safety.

CAL FIRE Amador – El Dorado Unit is in the process of working with the Bureau of Land Management on two fuels reduction projects in the Rescue area and Cameron Park.

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