Mitigating the Risk of Fire in Amador County
With the recent devastation of the Camp Fire, we must face the fact that the fire risk in Amador County is very high. To this end, we need to continue to take action to be prepared for wildfire and mitigate the fire risk.
Since we formed in 2002, the Amador Fire Safe Council (AFSC) has been working with partners and stakeholders to reduce the risk of wildfire in Amador County. The Amador Fire Safe Council (AFSC) is a local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to “improve the protection of Amador County residents and their properties from the catastrophic effects of wildfire through action, partnerships, education and outreach.” The board of the AFSC is made up of Amador County residents that volunteer their time to write grants, attend and facilitate planning meetings and work with the AFSC Coordinator to implement projects.
In September, the AFSC was awarded $1,017,239 from CALFIRE’s Climate Change Investment funds to implement the Mitchell Mine Fuel Break, which is located between Pine Grove and Volcano. The planning for this project has been in the works for years, and environmental compliance is roughly 50% complete; work on the ground is projected to start in early 2019.
The Mitchell Mine Fuel Break will be a 300-foot-wide shaded fuel break that is approximately 10.4 miles, through public and private land, strategically placed by CALFIRE and AFSC professionals, and sanctioned as a priority by the Amador Fuels Reduction Collaboration (see map). A shaded fuel break is an area where underbrush and small trees are cleared, leaving trees larger than 10 inches in diameter in the cleared swath. As the name describes this would act as a break of fuel functioning to significantly slow down a wildfire, and provides an open space for fire fighters and emergency responders to work to fight the wildfire.
In addition to CAL FIRE, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Indian Grinding Rock State Park are project partners; the fuel break will include public land managed by both of these entities. The fuelbreak includes many parcels of private land and in order to make it effective, AFSC needs to partner with the included private landowners – therefore, we need Rights of Entry for work to occur.
The Amador Fire Safe Council will be hosting a public meeting Monday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pine Grove Town Hall, 19899 Highway 88, Pine Grove, CA to discuss the project with the community. If you are a resident of the Upcountry or a community member interested in the project, please come to learn more about the project.
For more information on the project visit the Amador Fire Safe Council websiteand like the AFSC on Facebook.