September 11, 2023 – NOTICE OF NEXT BOARD MEETING
Friday, October 27 from 10am-noon at Pleasant View Baptist Church in White Bird
April 10, 2023 – OUT-OF-CONTROL BURNING
FROM THE BOARD
On Monday, April 10, TRR suffered a tragic loss of life due to out-of-control burning. TRR also suffered a worrisome day as it watched multiple neighbor’s “controlled burns” spread quickly onto neighbouring properties threatening homes, structures and animals. These “controlled burns” became “out-of-control burns” very quickly. The Fire Department, Forest Service and Volunteers were called out to the fires. They spent all day on TRR trying to extinguish those fires. The Board would like to remind people to burn responsibly. Show consideration for the safety of your neighbors, their property and their animals. Let your neighbors know when you will be burning so that they can more quickly respond if help is needed. Call the fire department ahead of your burn. They may know something that you don’t about burn conditions. Follow the Firewise guidelines (below) to help keep your fire under control and on your property. Monday’s “out-of-control burns” threatened homes, damaged utility poles, and tragically took the life of our neighbor. Monday’s events should prompt everyone to be much more cautions before burning and think twice before starting your burn to make sure that you know everything you should know in order to proceed. The winds on Monday were predicted, even though the day started out calmly. Folks who were burning did not have additional people, water and equipment available to stop the spread if fires got out of control. And, they did get out of control. Firebreaks were either nonexistent or insufficient for the winds. An excerpt from the Idaho County Mitigation plan (below) written years ago talks about the vulnerability of Twin River Ranch. The situation has only gotten more dangerous as more homes have been built. We will have a fire expert to speak at our next Annual Meeting.
FROM THE FIREWISE WEBSITE
Avoid burning on windy, hot, and dry days. Wait to burn if: winds are over 8-mph, temperature is above 80 degrees, and thunderstorm activity is predicted. Don’t burn if winds are greater than 12-mph.
Be prepared. Have enough people, water, and equipment/hand tools available to control the fire.
Dress appropriately. Wear long sleeves and pants, a hat, leather gloves and boots. Use a bandanna over your month to protect your lungs.
Make a firebreak before you start.
When burning fields, ditch banks or fence lines, it is always safest to ignite against the wind.
Knowing how a wildfire may behave is key to control and management. Many factors affect how a wildfire burns, how fast it moves and how difficult it is to control. The three sides of the fire behavior triangle are weather, topography and fuels.
Weather includes wind, temperature, cloudiness, moisture, and air pressure. High temperatures and low humidity cause vegetation to dry and wildfires to burn rapidly. Wind not only moves wildfires across landscapes, but also supplies oxygen that can cause fires to grow swiftly. Wind also blows embers for miles, igniting new spot fires. Rain and high humidity can slow or extinguish fires, while storms can cause fire activity to increase or become completely unpredictable. Topography is the physical features of an area, including slope and aspect (the direction it faces). Wildfires burn more rapidly when moving up a slope by preheating unburned fuels and making them more combustible. Wind also moves more rapidly up slopes, increasing the speed at which a fire can spread. Draws can act like chimneys and funnel flames upwards. South and West facing slopes have drier fuels than North and East facing slopes. Fuels are vegetation and structures. Their characteristics have a great effect on wildfire behavior. Large, dense trees burn for hours and generate a lot of heat. Dried grasses, on the other hand, produce a flashy fire that burns quickly and does not generate much heat.
FROM THE IDAHO COUNTY FIRE MITIGATION PLAN
The Twin River Subdivision on the West side of the Salmon River is at particularly high risk. Since the development of the subdivision several years ago, there have been numerous fires in the area, and on many of those occasions, structures were threatened. Fires have come so close that scorch marks were left on homes. Idaho County currently has no planning and zoning laws in place; however, cooperation through local fire response agencies has resulted in a small fire education program for Twin River residents. The combination of light fuels and high fire occurrence on these steep slopes make it imperative that homeowners implement fire mitigation measures to protect their structures, families and neighbors prior to such an event. The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area lies only two air miles south of the subdivision. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has jurisdiction over these lands; however, the less than aggressive initial attack that is practiced in natural areas could become a significant threat to homeowners in the Twin River development.
POTENTIAL MITIGATION ACTIVITIES
- Manage vegetation to increase the effectiveness of fire suppression.
- Have proper equipment and tools on hand in the event of a wildland fire.
- Plantings near homes should use fire resistant landscaping and be well-spaced.
- Grass surrounding homes and other buildings should be kept short and watered if possible.
- Remove weak, dying, sick and thin standing trees to create crown openings spaced to approximately 10 feet between crowns (the upper portion of trees).
- Prune trees to a minimum of 12 feet of all branches.
- Prune 1/3 of the live crown of smaller trees.
- Remove ladder fuels that may carry fire into the crowns of larger, overstory trees.
- Dispose of all excess vegetative material by chipping or hand-piling and burning when conditions are favorable.
April 3, 2023 – OPEN BOARD POSITIONS
Two Board positions will be open to fill at the June 2023 meeting. Gordon Ross was appointed to fill Cathy Little’s position when she resigned, and that position will need to be filled as that term ends this June. In addition, Wolfgang Schubert’s term also ends this June and that position will need to be filled. Anyone interested in running can send a one page candidate statement to the Board prior to May 1 to be included in the May newsletter mailing to the membership. Statements received after that date will be printed and distributed at check-in at the June meeting. Candidates must be property owners and in good standing with no unpaid dues, fees, or fines.
The statements can be mailed to PO Box 130, White Bird ID 83554 or sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
December 19, 2022 – LETTER FROM SYRINGA REGARDING AMBULANCE SERVICE
As a follow-up to our earlier conversation, I wanted residents of Twin River Ranch and other areas to realize that with the heavy snowfall last year and again this year, that there will be areas where roads are not built to county standards and snow removal and sanding procedures are not followed. The Syringa Ambulance may not be able to access some residences. The number one thing they teach in EMT training is to make sure the scene is safe for you and your team. Our team is comprised of volunteers with other jobs and families at home and I won’t put them in harms way for response on an unsafe roadway. We will work with locals to find ways to respond, of which one of the best would be to have an older reliable 4 x 4 located in your region with a canopy on the back and chains on all four tires. We could then safely load equipment in the vehicle,respond to scene and safely treat and transport the patient.
The other option would be for us to dispatch Search and Rescue which would easily add 1 to 2 hours onto the response time. Responding to the residents and visitors in our area is always a priority to our team. We however, cannot put our crew in danger and a $200,000 ambulance out of service because of dangerous conditions. Hope you understand our side of the issue and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.
Bill Spencer Syringa, Ambulance Manager Grangeville
November 1 2022 – FIRE MITIGATION
Idaho County provides free fire mitigation planning through a federal grant. This last year the Biden administration nearly cut the program to move the money to internet spending. So, the sooner you do this, the better. You must have a structure on the property. They will look at the residence, surrounding terrain and forest. They will then provide a “prescription” if they feel they can help. Idaho County will cover the costs 100% for a contractor to arrive and do the work if you live on your property 100% of the time and 50% if you live there half-time.
Again there is no charge!!! And they can educate you in helping your property survive a wildland fire.
If this is something you’re interested in, please reach out to them via email email@example.com
June 17, 2022 – ROAD & EQUIPMENT REPORT
Road Chair, Wolfgang Schubert, reported that ninety-eight dump truck loads of grading F gravel were laid down this spring. Eighty loads were delivered and spread over two days. The eighteen loads we had stockpiled last year were spread a few weeks later. The timing was good as both the gravel and the roads were wet. The majority of the gravel went on Big Canyon, Hammer Creek, Bucks Boulevard, and Gregory Creek; the rest went to problem areas throughout the ranch.
The unimproved section of Pine Ridge was cleared of brush and rocks for access by firefighting equipment and property owners. A sign was placed at the beginning of the unimproved section indicating that the property was private and that this was an unimproved road.
Grading was done as needed and weather permitted. Snow plowing was done from November through April as needed. Pilgrim Ridge was plowed this winter until the snow drifts got too deep. It was cleared this spring when enough snow had melted to allow equipment to get in. If we need to keep this road open throughout the winter, some other type of equipment, such as a large snow blower, will need to be purchased.
All roads were sprayed for weeds last August, and the lower roads again in late May of this year. The upper roads will be sprayed later in June.
Maintenance of the grader included replacing the starter, some of the carbide inserts on the blade and repair of the air brake system and air lines. The brakes continue to lock up at times, but we have been able to get them unlocked each time. One of the grader tires was replaced due to sidewall damage. All of the tires will need to be replaced within the next few years. Future repairs will include an engine rebuild, as it has numerous leaks and is burning oil.
Maintenance of the truck included repair of the 4×4 actuator, installation of front brakes and a wheel bearing and new rear tires. The pump on the weed sprayer was also repaired and will most likely need to be replaced soon.