On Tuesday morning, Lake County’s District 5 Supervisor, Jessica Pyska, presented a check for $10,000 to Konocti Fire Safe Council (KFSC) Board members Phil Hartley, Bill Groody and Cindy Jassar. This move represented another targeted investment of Supervisors’ Discretionary Cannabis Funds to support a Lake County organization poised to make a difference.
“For many years now, Homeowners Associations in the Kelseyville-area communities known as the Rivieras have been showing strong leadership and working effectively to reduce the risk of wildfire,” affirms Pyska. “Establishment of the Konocti Fire Safe Council brings valuable coordination to these efforts and better positions these communities to access grant funding in the future.”
KFSC’s President, Kathy Andre, is committed to keeping Riviera residents safe:
“Everyone in the county, by and large, agrees the Rivieras would be the worst place for a rural fire to occur. There are many homes, with a lot of local fuels, and limited access and fire-fighting capabilities.”
KFSC has a strong partner and advocate in Pyska.
“Supervisor Pyska has been a voice for the need of the County to work hand-in-hand with community groups,” notes Hartley, who serves as KFSC’s Vice President. “In a County managing economic challenges, community organizations that are incorporated, legitimate enterprises have a real opportunity to step up, respond to capacity challenges, and be part of the solution. We look forward to partnering with residents of Riviera communities, government and business leaders, and others to promote strong collaboration.”
Groody, KFSC’s Treasurer, emphasized the importance of a unified approach to wildfire safety. “We are grateful to the people on the other side of Mt. Konocti and have started reaching out to them, recognizing that a fire that starts in that area could go right over the mountain.”
“We’re on a great path and looking to continue building momentum,” added Jassar.
KFSC seeks “to increase community wildfire preparedness and survivability through education, project and resource development, evacuation readiness and hazardous fuel reduction.” They are working to mobilize volunteers and professional agencies to provide strategic, coordinated efforts and identify resources and funding for wildfire mitigation, response, and evacuation, with the following goals:
Establish and maintain ourselves as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3), to solicit and manage funds for all manner of education, preparedness, mitigation, and evacuation.
Identify, develop, fund, and implement projects that provide better preparedness for wildfires.
Coordinate and collaborate efforts among existing Firewise Communities, encourage and support the development of additional Firewise Groups and/or communities.
Forge strong partnerships with all associated county agencies, first responders, and community-based organizations that support wildfire preparedness and mitigation.
KFSC’s Board of Directors includes the following officers and members:
Kathy Andre, President
Phil Hartley, Vice President (pictured in photo of August 30)
Bill Groody, Treasurer (pictured accepting check from Supervisor Pyska in photo of August 30)
Cindy Jassar, Board Member (pictured in photo of August 30)
John Nowell, Board Member
Kathy Sylar, Board Member
Rion Sommerfield, Board Member
“I am really excited to see KFSC’s efforts empower Konocti-area residents outside of communities served by Homeowners Associations, in addition to those that have already been deeply engaged with their HOAs,” enthuses Pyska. “We’re deeply grateful for the work KFSC and Riviera-area HOAs have already done and excited to support all Lake County residents taking proactive steps to prevent wildfire.”