By Massiel Ladrón De Guevara
Chino Valley– The Chino Valley Fire District is proud to recognize former San Bernardino County Fourth District Supervisor Gary Ovitt and Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council founding member Ron Nadeau as the 2015 recipients of the Fred L. Burns Community Service Award. Both award recipients were instrumental in the implementation of programs that reduced the fire risk in the Carbon Canyon area. “These two members of our community are certainly well deserving of the Fred L. Burns Community Service Award,” Board President Brian Johsz said, “Mr. Ovitt and Mr. Nadeau have made a real impact on protecting our community and removing a fire threat to many homes in Carbon Canyon.”
The Fred L. Burns Community Service Award was established to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Chino Valley Fire District in the area of furthering the District’s Mission Statement and/or who has made a significant contribution to the Chino Valley Community in the area of community service in support of public safety.
Mr. Ovitt served as Fourth District Supervisor from 2004 to 2014. During his tenure as Supervisor, Mr. Ovitt demonstrated a commitment to public safety by supporting several projects related to reducing fire risks in the community. He was a strong supporter of the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council, which was founded in 2001 under the guidance of the Fire District to support and implement programs and events related to fire safety within the Carbon Canyon community. Mr. Ovitt was instrumental in securing funds to remove overgrown vegetation that posed a fire danger in Carbon Creek. He also played a vital role in securing a location for a critical fire communications repeater in Carbon Canyon.
Mr. Nadeau has taken a lead with various projects that help protect Carbon Canyon from the devastating effects of fire. He has been instrumental with brush removal programs in the Canyon, wildfire defensible space planning and public outreach events. He also helped lead the arundo donax hazardous vegetation removal project in Canyon Creek that Mr. Ovitt helped fund. The overgrown brush in the creek is what helped fuel the fires that burned through the creek west of the San Bernardino County line during the 2008 Freeway Complex Fire.
Mr. Nadeau and Mr. Ovitt’s partnership with the Fire Safe Council has dramatically reduced the potential for loss of life, property destruction and damage to the environment that is associated with wildfire. The Chino Valley Fire District is proud to honor them for their work in keeping our communities safer from the detrimental effects of wildfires.