CAL FIRE Unit Fire Prevention Projects

Department: CAL FIRE

Program Description: Building on the success of past fuel reduction work, CAL FIRE continues working on strategically located fuel reduction projects in high wildfire prone communities throughout the State. New projects are started as soon as other projects are complete. CAL FIRE resources are committed to these projects that are vital to slow the spread of fires and provide anchor points for firefighters to implement suppression actions. Using the 2018 Strategic Fire Plan to guide CAL FIRE unit and contract counties, specific fuel reduction projects are formulated into a plan and implemented using the Unit Fire Prevention Projects funding.

Program Impact: These strategic fuel breaks and reduction in hazardous fuels reduce the severity of wildfires, while reducing the fire risk to vulnerable communities. Fuel breaks enable firefighters to approach a fire, take a stand, establish containment lines, and create safer evacuation routes for the public.

Resilience in Action: In 2022 the Santa Barbara County Fire Department completed 1,011 acres of fuel reduction as part of this program. This was accomplished through three projects including 969 acres of broadcast burning on the Spaulding-Midland project, a 30 acres of right-of-way clearance on the Alisal Road Project, and 12 acres of pile burning on the Painted Cave Community Defensible Space Project.

Electra Fire: Pine Acres Fuel Break is a 180-acre fuel break in the 2,544-acre Pine Acres VMP. Located near Jackson on the north rim of the Mokelumne River which divides Amador and Calaveras counties. The fuel break was initially completed in 2003-2004 as a 300-foot wide shaded fuel break and then was developed into a Vegetation Management Plan in 2005. It was maintained and improved again in both 2006 and 2011. It was expanded and maintained again in 2015 and 2019. The primary goal of the project was to create a shaded fuel break intended to support fire suppression and structure defense operations in the event of a wildfire coming out of the Mokelumne River Canyon. On the first four days of the 2015 Butte Fire it did just that. Due to recent maintenance in 2021, it once again was able to be used to stop the fire from progressing into the communities during the 2022 Electra Fire.

Lake Shastina Fuel Break