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Posted on: June 7, 2022

Yuba Fire Safe Council awarded approximately $1.5 million for fuels reduction project

A photo of a gravel road that is in a forest.

The Yuba Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council was recently awarded approximately $1.5 million from Cal Fire to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and improve public safety for communities in the Yuba County foothills. 

The funds will be put toward reducing hazardous fuels on approximately 465 acres along county and private roads in the Dobbins and Oregon House area as part of the Yuba Foothills Wildland Urban Interface Fuels Reduction Project. Treatments include hand-cutting and chipping, mastication, prescribed fire and herbicide application, which will be done along rights-of-way, as well as on areas up to 150 feet on either side of county roads and 30 feet on either side of private roads.

“Roadways are a critical component of the region’s Wildland Urban Interface zones as escape routes, to allow for access by first responders and equipment and as a logical anchor for fuel breaks,” said Allison Thomson, executive director of the Fire Safe Council. “Roads are also a likely source for ignition starts with sparks from vehicles, so these efforts are critical for the safety of our foothill communities.”

Earlier this year, Yuba Water Agency approved a local cost-share grant worth up to $240,000 to help the Fire Safe Council be more competitive in its application to Cal Fire’s California Climate Investments Wildfire Prevention Grant program. 

“It is great to see that the funds we have committed will be able to leverage this much larger pot of state funding,” said JoAnna Lessard, Yuba Water project manager. “This work is so important to minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfire in our rural communities and it takes all of us working together to make these major projects happen.” 

Yuba Water’s grant funding will be used for project management costs, required surveys and hiring a forester to provide implementation coordination and oversight. 

The hazardous fuels reduction work is expected to begin soon, with landowner outreach beginning this summer and thinning work beginning in the fall.

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