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Tolt

ToltTolt Triangle Fire Council has accomplished a fair amount in the past few months. The following is a list of what has been done in relation to the community wildfire protection plan and projects that we would like to do in the future (especially if they can be funded).

Education and public relations plan
Presentations/Workshops
In January a presentation, hosted by TTFC members, on forest health and commercial thinning was given by International Forest Consultants to interested property owners in TTFC. This was the start of an organized group thinning project (see Fuel Reduction for more details).

A Thinning for Forest Health Workshop was held on July 9, 2005. This workshop was created WSU Cooperative Extension Service in cooperation with King County DNRP, International Forest Consultants, and Tolt Triangle Fire Council. There were over 40 participants from all over King County.

Website
We have an excellent web site with up-to-date content. We would like to expand the capabilities (such as email lists and interactive content) but we need to find a different internet service provider. See www.toltfirewise.org.

ToltPublic outreach
As part of the Carnation/Duvall Citizen Corps Council, TTFC manned an information booth at several local gatherings:
Duvall Days
Duvall Pancake Breakfast
Carnation 4th of July
These were quite successful and we distributed hundreds of informational flyers and brochures.

RFC meeting
One of the issues on reducing fuels is figuring out all the permit requirements. King County enacted new regulations this year and it has an interesting effort to see how they are applied to things like commercial and precommercial thinnings. The King County Rural Forest Commission visited TTFC area several times and toured ongoing and planned forest thinnings. On their last visit they were accompanied by members of the media. Articles appeared in King County Journal and on KOMO TV and KVI radio. See www.toltfirewise.org for details.

Fuel reduction
One of the goals in the CWPP was to daylight the main and side roads in the area to improve their function as fuel breaks. This is slowly occurring on some roads as a result of the commercial thinning operations. This process needs to occur in other sections as well. Grants have been pursued, but as of yet no funding has been obtained to assist this in areas where commercial thinning is not viable.

ToltCommercial thinning
Many of the properties in TTFC are relatively small, 20 acres or less in size. These small tracts are not real appealing to commercial timber outfits as it takes as much effort to setup and move out as it does to do the actual thinning. To make commercial thinning more appealing to logging companies as well as more affordable for property owners, a cooperative thinning project started amongst various property owners in July 2005. Originally, there were just under 100 acres that were going to be thinned. As property owners saw the results, this soon expanded to over 200 acres. In addition, other property owners have started thinning 100+ acres in independent operations. In all, more than 400 acres of dense, overstocked forests are being thinned to healthier levels. In addition, many sections of roads end up being daylighted which makes for more efficient fuel breaks.

Emergency response/evacuation plan
The TTFC emergency response committee has identified 16 areas inside TTFC, each of which would be part of a larger evacuation plan. They are working on a "notebook" of evacuation routes for each area. In addition to maps, they would be a list of each home and any special needs (people, pets, livestock) or other information (location of shutoffs, etc.) that the homeowners would be willing to make available. While the evacuation route maps would be distributed to all property owners, the additional information would be kept confidential, only area leaders and emergency personnel would have a copy of the notebook. If implemented, the notebook would have to be updated annually (more frequent updates may be done via a secure web site). The committee hopes to have the plans and routes ready for review by January 2006 and get the materials reproduced and to the appropriate leads by June 2006.

Outreach
The Carnation/Duvall Citizen Corps Council has held meetings with members of both the Lake Marcel and Lake Margaret communities. We are hoping to get a few property owners interested in creating their own Firewise community and expanding our wildfire protection efforts.

For more information about Tolt Triangle Fire Council, see: http://www.toltfirewise.org.