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OUR NEWS- July 2020

Diamond Mountain Fire Safe Council (DMFSC) NEWS- July 2020 There’s lots going on in the Diamond Mountain Fire Safe Council as we dive headfirst into the 2020 Wildfire Season.  Here’s a quick update. Our Steering Committee. We are now 9 persons strong with broad representation from our various neighborhoods.  It’s a hands-on group, and the pace of activity has really picked up!

. Jerry Newell- South Fork Diamond Mountain Road, President of DMFSC and board member of Napa Community Firewise Foundation

  • Edward Wallis- Pacheteau Road., Co-leader, DMFSC

  • Dawnine Dyer- lower Diamond Mountain Road., Co-leader, DMFS

  • Kevin Coleman- Tucker Acres 

  • Mary Morrow-Kortum Canyon

  • Gretchen de Limur- South Fork Diamond Mountain Road

  • Michael and Lindalou Ryge- North Fork Diamond Mountain Road

  • Maureen O’Neill- lower Diamond Mountain Road

To contact any member of the steering committee, email and they will get back to you. Our CWPP (Community Wildfire Protection Plan) is finished! Jerry Newell and Maureen O’Neill spent a good part of May studying examples of other CWPPs as well as our Risk Assessment.  From there they drafted a 48-page document that is now the DMFSC’s CWPP.  It was submitted early June for comment and editing and the final sign off was June 28. This is a huge accomplishment, adds to our credibility as an FSC and makes us eligible for a wider range of grant monies.  BIG thanks to Jerry and Maureen who not only wrote it but guided it through the approval process.  The CWPP can be viewed on the DMFSC website. Knox Box and Secure Database- Our 2nd year providing well organized property information to firefighters is now in the box (Knox Box that is).  Our participation rate increased considerably this season and we hope that next year it will be even better.  Edward Wallis is now scheduling appointments with CalFire, Calistoga Fire Department, St. Helena Fire Department, and Sonoma Fire Department to educate them on the information and how best to access it.  Next up? Adding Knox Boxes at Kortum Canyon and Tucker Acres and potentially other locations. Cost per each box has been established at $3700/each – fully installed.  If you haven’t done so yet, please register on the website and fill out your property survey. Reflective Street Number Signs- After her success with the South Fork of Diamond Mountain Road, Gretchen de Limur has taken on getting all of Diamond Mountain Road into full compliance.  So far, she’s catalogued existing signage, spoken to most residents and has researched methods for mounting the signs.  Her goal is to make them effective and consistent without sacrificing esthetics.  She’s identifying the best locations, discussing with homeowners, and is putting together a team to help with installation.  She’ll be asking that you pay for the hardware and the sign- please join in!  Next up, Gretchen’s work will serve as a template for a systematic approach to comprehensive street number signage in Tucker Acres, Kortum Canyon and the rest of the FSC.  We need neighborhood leads for this project. Connecting to Sharp Road - the private stretch of road that connects the top of Diamond Mountain Rd with Sharp Rd has become a focus for local Fire Fighters and is now being viewed as both a viable emergency exit and  also a way to bring fire fighters and equipment up from the Fire Station on lower Sharp Road.  Mike Ryge and Jerry Newell have been working closely with NCFF and Cal Fire.  To date Cal Fire has graded and widened the road, adding water bars to improve drainage. It’s a dust storm right now but an intrepid caravan of your neighbors drove from the top of the road down to Sharp and back up and over Kortum Canyon… nothing but smiling faces when it was over.  The plan is to gravel the road, improve the drainage and add turnouts.  This work is out to bid, and we’ll know soon if this will happen this season.  REMEMBER- this is for emergency use only.  There are gates at both ends to ensure the privacy of the owners.  Please respect them.  If you want to see the improvements, contact Michael Ryge ( to arrange a visit. Tucker Acres/Bothe ParkKevin Coleman is working on a project with the State Parks to obtain permission to clear additional defensive space between the park and the Tucker Acres properties.  This will lay the groundwork for requesting the permission required to develop a shaded fuel break on State Park property. Free Chipping Programthis is a reminder that the best thing you can do for your own property and the community is improve and increase your defensible space.  The free chipping program in Napa County can be a huge assistance in accomplishing clearing tasks.  Typically, there is huge demand and long wait times for this chipping at the beginning of the season.  As the Summer progresses, the chippers get caught up with their backlog so think about doing more clearing now!  Remember to clear safely and avoid using chain saws etc. on red flag days. Budget and Funding – for almost 18 months since our first meeting in March of 2019 we have operated the DMFSC with funds from a couple of neighborhood “angels” who have made generous donations amounting to over $20,000 to get us up and running.  Now we each need to do our part.  While the goal is getting grants for large projects, there are administrative costs. We will be providing the community with our budget details and a contribution request soon — we hope you will support the DMFSC efforts to make our community safer.  More to follow on this topic!  WOW, we promise to communicate on a more regular basis going forward… watch for quarterly updates! Stay safe and stay in touch with your neighbors… we’re all in this together. Your DMFSC Steering Committee



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