The Shasta County Connection —3-21-19

The Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery came to Redding for one of their meetings that I attended. Governor Brown formed this commission as a result of the increasing threat of wildfires.  Governor Brown signed into legislation SB901 to help mitigate wildfire risk and increase the pace and scale of recovery efforts. It was a four-hour session, covering many topics related to wildfires.  Representatives from the insurance industry spoke about the utility insurance challenges surrounding wildfires. Community needs around wildfire damages were presented by representatives from Shasta County, City of Redding and Butte County.  The commission was engaged and seemed prepared to bring back to Sacramento various recommendations made by the panelists.

A joint meeting of the California Association of Councils of Governments and the Local Government Commission held a conference in Yosemite National Park.  There were many good speakers and a few good ideas to share with local leaders.  There was a session on “How to Heal and Rebuild a Community” with representatives from Butte County and the City of Santa Rosa.  I’ve been to several meetings now where video presentations of the Camp Fire have been part of the program.  I continue to be amazed at the extreme fire conditions occurred with that particular fire.  Yosemite was spectacular, the weather was pleasant and very few people at the park, which made for a pleasant trip.

Many Shasta County decision makers met at the Builder’s Exchange to watch a presentation on “Sprung” structures.  Our purpose to meet with the representative from the company was to discuss the possibility of exploring how a Sprung structure could serve as a center for the homeless in Redding.  These structures are simple frame structures and are being used in many parts of the country for this particular purpose.  The concept of a Navigation Center continues to be a priority topic of discussion with the county.  The State of California has allocated funding for capital improvements for this purpose.  This discussion will continue by vetting this concept thoroughly before any final decisions will be made.  There are many homeless in Redding and a facility to help people connect with the services they might need is something we need to explore.  I still maintain that substance use is at the basis of many of those living on the streets and giving people the opportunity to get the help they need is worth the effort.  Stay tuned….

The Northeastern California Water Association (NECWA) meeting was held in Adin again this month.  Mr. Patrick Pulupa, Executive Officer, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, spoke about how the farmers and ranchers face many challenges in the Pit River Watershed.  We continue to be burdened with rising fees and monitoring, though there has been no evidence of any violations, other than one in Modoc County that was not related to agriculture.  It was an interesting program and the room was packed with members.  Tami Humphrey put on an excellent meeting.

This will be my last reminder for the Reducing Risk from Wildfire event to be held at the Board of Supervisor’s Chambers Tuesday, March 26th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.  Topics on the agenda include insurance, maintaining defensible space, and giving your residence a better chance of surviving wildfire.  I hope to see you there.

If you have any questions, please contact me at mrickert@co.shasta.ca.us.

Mary Rickert — Shasta County, District 3 Supervisor