Lakeshore Park is located on the North Shore of Bass Lake CA. Lakeshore Park has been certified as a Firewise Community for over 22 years, and was the first community with certification in Central CA.
We conduct 2 formal workdays per year in the Spring time. Attendance at one of the parties is required of each resident, and non-attendance draws a penalty of $350 dollars. Each member puts in sweat labor to reduce any and all hazardous fire fuels that accumulate over winter months. It sounds like drudgery but most neighbors have come to realize it’s value to our homes and cabins and… fire prevention and protection. We are blessed to have lands we license from PGE that give us access to beaches and tropic like waters of Bass Lake. We also believe in the importance of getting to know our neighbors who mostly do not live at the lake year round. Lastly a significant number of neighbors have enthusiastically received discounts on their fire insurance policies from $200-$350 per year after presenting a copy of our current Firewise Certification. Lastly we all desire the maximum amount of beautifying we can create for everyone’s enjoyment on all 11 acres that support the name “Lakeshore PARK.”
The workdays allow us to teach one another techniques of clearing, thinning, and removing unwanted or hazard plant species…and using hand tools. For the more experienced, we teach as much as possible how to use our new array of Echo power tools provided to us by our Cal Fire grant (acquired two years ago). We are careful to emphasize SAFETY PRACTICES (especially for the power tools), In short we are creating a positive attitude of esprit du corps…it is working.
Our work party April 30th was one of the most productive I have supervised in over 25 years. It required more than 3 days for a professional crew using large trucks and a backhoe loader to remove the work piles created. The work party, and a thank you luncheon had ended. Our newest LAKESHORE neighbors the Micallef family elected their daughter Emily (15 years old) and her cousin Jollee Harshman(14 years) to represent their family. Emily is a freshman at Yosemite High School; Jolee attends Sierra Jr. High. Neither of the girls had ever been involved in a forest management work party. Both girls stuck to their work and did a good job. After all the festivities, they returned to the beach with poles for some fishing.. Around a point where they were located, they noticed some suspicious smoke coming from rocks along the lake. They chose to investigate. They noticed a boat of fishermen who were smoking. The boat left looking for a new fishing spot…but smoke continued to rise from the rocks. The girls had noticed a bucket submerged nearby. They dove in the cold water…retrieved the bucket..and returned to find very large flames seemingly coming from the rocks As they got closer they discovered an old stump fully engulfed in flames. They used the bucket to the best of their ability but could not get it completely out. One of the girls stayed with the fire…the other used a cell phone to contact her mother Michelle to bring a shovel. Returning to the site they used buckets of sand and water to finally put the fire out.
The process of extinguishing the fire was difficult because there was wind that was fanning the flames and it was scary to the girls in the “fight.” Later, most of us looking at the aftermath were amazed the old stump would burn that much. There were questions about how the fire could be started by a cigarette thrown into the wind. Was the fire set on purpose? Of much greater importance, it was easily possible embers could have set a fire in the large ponderosa’s on the nearby beach front…leading directly to our beautiful homes.
Are EMILY and JOLEE …LAKESHORE PARK and FIREWISE HEROES? Our community says YES!! We also say this is a wonderful example worthy to share among local people both young and old. The girls first used their BRAINS and then they used their action and COURAGE…I commend these young ladies for recognition: Cal Fire, Firewise USA, Madera County, PGE, Sierra Star, and others.
Dr. Bill Troost
Bass Lake CA