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Protecting and Connecting With Our Mountain Communities

Protecting and Connecting With Our Mountain Communities

On August 29 the Pier Fire started off Highway 190 along the Tule River between Springville and Camp Nelson. One of the greatest fears of our local mountain communities along Hwy 190 became a reality, with a wild fire ravaging through some of the County’s highest tree mortality areas within very steep and rocky terrain. It’s a recipe for disaster for the 700 plus mountain homes in the area.  

I own a cabin in Sequoia Crest and I knew along with many of my neighbors that if a wild fire ever broke out in that canyon, we’d surely be toast.

The Pier Fire burned nearly 40,000 acres and remarkably we had only minimal damage including: one outdoor building, a water flume, a Southern California Edison powerhouse and some power line polls. Considering the circumstances, that is amazing!

And I give credit to the firefighters for their extraordinary achievement!

In the height of the fight we had over 1,700 personnel from near and far battling the Pier Fire. This included firefighters, emergency management workers, helicopter pilots, water tender drivers, and the list goes on and on. Because of their effort, our mountain homes and communities were saved from the Pier Fire.

I thank you for the hard work and the long hours put in to make sure everyone had a home to return to.

It’s important that we work to provide essential services to the many mountain communities in Tulare County. We are limited on the types of resources we can provide as a County to these rural communities in the higher elevations, however we always try our best to meet their needs.

This is why I hold my annual community meetings in the mountains. It’s a way to stay in touch and hear their issues and concerns. In doing so, we are able to bridge gaps and find areas of services the County is able to accommodate.

Not only do we discuss County services, we also provide an open forum for residents to connect with other governmental agencies in the mountain areas such as the U.S. Forest Service, California Highway Patrol, CalTrans, and the utility companies working to remove dead trees in the mountains.   

I like to host these meetings once a year, one for all the communities surrounding in the Highway 190 mountain corridor and the other in the California Hot Springs area. Unfortunately, due to the Pier Fire we had to cancel the Hwy 190 meeting.

But we are gearing up to host the annual California Hot Springs meeting on October 12th at the Capineros Community Center. Many agencies will be on hand to address resident’s concerns including RMA, the Fire Department, CHP, CalTrans, Cal Fire, U.S. Forest Service, SoCal Edison, and others.

I’m looking forward to our continued work in providing services to the mountain communities of Tulare County, and when the need arises, protecting them from any natural or human caused disasters.