MCCWPP – Appendix C: Fuel Treatment Descriptions

Mendocino Unit is divided into 6 battalions. Each battalion is administered by a Battalion Chief. Each Battalion Chief was asked to identify assets that would be at risk during a large scale Incident due to the following factors:

  • Fuel loading
  • Emergency Response
  • Topography
  • Access
  • Weather
  • Signage
  • Structural Ignitability
  • Water Supply

 

The identified assets were then grouped geographically into target areas. These target areas were then prioritized. The final product is a detailed map and list of areas that will be used to focus fire prevention activities and fuel treatments.

Fuel Treatment Methods

Through experience CAL FIRE has determined that three treatment methods stand out as being the most effective, environmentally friendly.

MCCWPP_REV_html_5d41c68bChipping – Areas in each Battalion are identified thathave high vulnerability to catastrophic wildland fire loss. Home owners are united and educated through the establishment of a Fire Safe Councils and MEU’s active Fire Prevention Program. Home owners are required to clear flammable brush and ladder fuels to meet the PRC 4291 requirement.
MCCWPP_REV_html_m261b1369Prescribed Burning – Areas in each Battalion are identified that would have the most benefit of using controlled fires to create anchor points and a natural barrier of a larger event. Prescribed burning can also provided many benefits to the local wildlife and environment.
MCCWPP_REV_html_m2b94046fShaded and Non-Shaded Fuel Break – We are using natural barriers and topography to determine areas in the County that can serve as a primary or secondary fire control line. These line use roads, rivers and topography to compartmentalize the target areas of each Battalion. MEU primarily uses mechanical operations to accomplish these fuel breaks.

 

BATTALION 1 TARGET AREAS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

 

1) Blue Slide
3) Poonkinney
5) Chicken/Pigeon Ridge
7) Bauer Subdivision
2) Lonardi
4) Carley
6) Hams Pass

BLUE SLIDE

MCCWPP_REV_html_m7da1f75a CAL FIRE with the cooperation of a local landowner is in the planning stages to utilize this place of land for training in heavy equipment use. The training will take place near the where Mina Road and Hulls Valley Road split. The intent is to provide training to the operators of heavy equipment while also installing control lines for future potential control burns. The purpose of the controls burns would be to re-introduce fire into the natural environment.

POONKINNEY

In the planning stages of a VMP burn in the Poonkinny ridge area. Incooperation with the land owner. The primary goal of this prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem. A second goal is to improve wildlife habitat by inducing new shoots from sprouting species to increase forage production, with islands of unburned fuel left within burn units to provide shelter for small mammals. A third goal is to reduce overall fuel loading to decrease the chance of catastrophic wildfires in the future.

LUNARDI

MCCWPP_REV_html_360e8c44 Located in the near Kelly Canyon Creek outside of Covelo is a potential training burn to provide CAL FIRE staff valuable fire line training with live fire. The training would also double as grassland burn to remove older dead grasses and allow for new vigorous growth.

CARLEY

MCCWPP_REV_html_1db85d9f The prescribed burning conducted under this VMP project will be done tomeet a specific objective and conducted under specific climatic conditions to ensure control and minimize air quality and biological impacts. These conditions will mimic air, soil, and vegetation moisture, and other conditions under which natural wildfires occur so as to maximize the positive effects of fire on vegetation. The primary goal of this prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem. A second goal is to improve wildlife habitat by inducing new shoots from sprouting species to increase forage production, with islands of unburned fuel left within burn units to provide shelter for small mammals. A third goal is to reduce overall fuel loading to decrease the chance of catastrophic wildfires in the future.

CHICKEN RIDGE AND PIGEON RIDGE

CAL FIRE with the cooperation of local landowners is in the planning stages of a fire hazard reduction project in the Chicken/Pigeon Ridge area, which is accessed off Hill Road in Covelo. Mill Creek is at the bottom of a steep canyon with Chicken Ridge and Pigeon Ridge roads are on either side. Both have only one way in and one way out with locked gates at the bottom. In the past 10 years both roads have seen an increase in residences and year round occupation. This will be accomplished by creating a shaded fuel break and fuel reduction areas. The fuel break will include vegetation thinning, understory reduction and removal of the ladder fuels. The area consists of steep terrain covered in a mix of grasslands, conifer and mature brush.

HAMS PASS

CAL FIRE with the cooperation of local landowners and Forest Service is in the preparation stages of a project in the SRA and FRA. This is a fire hazard reduction project along the Highway 162 spanning from Forest Service route 24N2 to the Eel River bridge. This will be accomplished by creating a shaded fuel break. The shaded fuel break will include vegetation thinning, understory reduction and removal of the ladder fuels. The area consists of steep terrain covered in a mix of grasslands, conifer and mature brush.

BAUER SUBDIVISION

CAL FIRE, in cooperation with the local landowners, is in the planning stages of a fire hazard reduction project in the Bauer Subdivision, which is accessed off Forest Highway 7. This area is has one way in and one way out. The fire hazard reduction will be accomplished by creating a shaded fuel break and fuel reduction areas. The fuel break will include vegetation thinning, understory reduction and removal of the ladder fuels. The area consists of steep terrain covered in a mix of grasslands, conifer and mature brush.

BATTALION 2 TARGET AREAS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1) Brooktrails 2) Baxter Ranch
3) Shafer Rach 4) Pine Mountain

BROOKTRAILS

The Brooktrails Township Community Services District is a general law, multi- purpose community services special district formed in 1975. Brooktrails maintains a unique Golf Course filled with exquisite tall redwood trees, a 2,300- acre Greenbelt with an extensive hiking trail system, the Par Course, and the Ohl Grove Redwood Park. The District is currently thinning various projects to reduce fire risks and increase forest succession.

BAXTER RANCH

Located near Dos Rios, near the Eel River, the proposed VMP will be done tomeet a specific objective and conducted under specific climatic conditions to ensure control and minimize air quality and biological impacts. These conditions will mimic air, soil, and vegetation moisture, and other conditions under which natural wildfires occur so as to maximize the positive effects of fire on vegetation. The primary goal of this prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem. A second goal is to improve wildlife habitat by inducing new shoots from sprouting species to increase forage production, with islands of unburned fuel left within burn units to provide shelter for small mammals. A third goal is to reduce overall fuel loading to decrease the chance of catastrophic wildfires in the future.

SHAFER RANCH

The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council is in the planning stages of a fire reduction project in the area of Shaffer Ranch Road. This will be accomplished by creating shaded fuel breaks and fuel reduction areas.

PINE MOUNTAIN

The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council is in the planning stages of a fire reduction projects in the area of Pine Mountain, which is located on the eastside of the Willits Valley. This will be accomplished by creating shaded fuel breaks and fuel reduction areas.

 

BATTALION 3 TARGET AREAS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1) Pieta
3) Pine Mountain
5) Sulphur Creek
7) North Cow
9) Robinson Creek
2) Mill Creek
4) West Side VMP
6) Burke Hill
8) Black Bart

PIETA

The prescribed burning conducted under this VMP project has been done to meet specific objectives and conducted under specific climatic conditions to ensure control and minimize air quality and biological impacts. The burning in this project has been completed. This VMP project is in the maintenance phase.

MILL CREEK

The primary objectives of this VMP burn will be to reduce fuel loading and improve wildlife habitat on chamise and mixed-chaparral slopes. A helitorch and hand drip-torches will be used to create fuel breaks along ridge tops as well as mosaic burns on south and west-facing slopes. Several units of this VMP have been successfully burned

PINE MOUNTAIN

The prescribed burning conducted under this VMP project will be done to meeta specific objective and conducted under specific climatic conditions to ensure control and minimize air quality and biological impacts. These conditions will mimic air, soil, and vegetation moisture, and other conditions under which natural wildfires occur so as to maximize the positive effects of fire on vegetation. The primary goal of this prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem. A second goal is to improve wildlife habitat by inducing new shoots from sprouting species to increase forage production, with islands of unburned fuel left within burn units to provide shelter for small mammals. The Mendocino Fire Safe Council will also be working to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.  Fuel mitigation via shaded fuel breaks and fuel reduction will also be performed. A third goal is to reduce overall fuel loading to decrease the chance of catastrophic wildfires in the future.

WEST SIDE VMP

This is a cooperative project with the private land holders, local government and fire agencies. This project will consist of fuel hazard reduction along the west boundary of the City of Ukiah in the form of shaded fuel break from Low Gap Road to Highway 253. This will be done by creating a shaded fuel break that will include vegetation thinning, understory reduction and removal of the ladder fuels. The area consists of steep terrain covered in a mix of conifer and mature brush. This project would reduce the threat of fire spread to structures in the interface and create defensible space. Additionally, this project will include improvement to existing fire breaks and improve access to fire control resources. This VMP will include fuel modification and possibly prescribed fire.

SULPHUR CREEK

This fire hazard reduction project is hazard fuel reduction along Sulphur Creek in the community of Vichy Springs east of Ukiah. It will remove the dead and dying debris adjacent to structures. This project is in cooperation with the local home owners association.

BURKE HILL

This is a fire hazard reduction project along the Highway 101 from Nelson Ranch Road to Burke Hill Road. The fire hazard reduction be accomplished by creating a shaded fuel break. The shaded fuel break will include vegetation thinning, understory reduction and removal of the ladder fuels. The area consists of steep terrain covered in a mix of grasslands, conifer and mature brush.

NORTH COW

The VMP will use prescribed fire on private and public lands east of the Ukiah valley. The goals of the project are hazard reduction and range improvement. Treatment would reduce the rapid expansion of an uncontrolled fire burning east towards the urban interface areas on the east side of the Ukiah valley and to prevent a fire that starts in the eastern hills and burns uncontrolled to the east towards Lake County and the community of Blue Lakes. Range improvement goal is to remove undesired woody vegetation and increase forage production for domestic stock and wildlife. The project area is predominantly chaparral brush with a mix of oak woodlands and patches of conifer forests. The area is part of the Russian River drainage and consists of steep terrain typical of the coastal range. A majority of the lands are west and southwestern aspects with a north aspect along Highway 20 on the north side. Access is limited to unmaintained, seasonal roads which make fire extinguishment difficult. The project will be a cooperative effort working in conjunction with the private landowners and US Bureau of Land Management. The prescribed burns will be in concert with a focused inspection and public education program in the effected urban-interface communities.

BLACK BART

The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council is in the planning stages of a fire reduction project in the area of Black Bart Trail. This will be accomplished by creating shaded fuel breaks, and fuel reduction areas. The Council is also in the planning process to mitigate damage from the recent Black Fire.

ROBINSON CREEK

The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council is in the planning stages of a fire reduction project in the area of Robinson Creek. This area is prone to vegetation fires. This will be accomplished by creating shaded fuel breaks, creating fuel reduction areas, and installing water tanks for fire suppression activities.

BATTALION 4 TARGET AREAS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1) Sinkyone
3) Cahto Thinning
5) Usal Redwood Forest
7) Laytonville and Leggett
2) Shamrock
4) White Rock
6) Bell Springs Road Community

SINKYONE

Joint project of CAL FIRE and the California Department of Parks andRecreation, located at the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, in the far northwest corner of the Battalion. The primary objective is to return fire as a natural element in a marine terrace ecosystem. Benefits will include the control of exotic plant species, reduction of fuel loading, increased forage for Roosevelt Elk herd, and maintenance of native grassland plant species. In October 2010 the first of 3 consecutive burns took place with great success. A lack of VMP funding has postponed the project in the past, but the Department of Parks & Recreation still plans on moving forward to complete the project in the future

CAHTO

Tree-thinning project immediately surrounding the tribal residences. The primary objective is to make a more productive forest through thinning, and a secondary benefit is the reduction of forest fire fuels, providing additional defensible space. More funding is needed to complete this project.

USAL REDWOOD FOREST

Located in the Usal Redwood Forest is an aggressive shaded fuel break with aplanned understory burn. This project is funded by federal grants and the work is completed by private contractors.  A shaded fuel break is a forest management strategy used for mitigating the threat of wildfire in areas where natural fire regimes have been suppressed, leading to a dangerous buildup of combustible vegetation. Constructing a shaded fuel break is the process of selectively thinning and removing more flammable understory vegetation while leaving the majority of larger, more fire tolerant tree species in place.

SHAMROCK

The prescribed burning conducted under this VMP project will be done to meeta specific objective and conducted under specific climatic conditions to ensure control and minimize air quality and biological impacts. These conditions will mimic air, soil, and vegetation moisture, and other conditions under which natural wildfires occur so as to maximize the positive effects of fire on vegetation. The primary goal of this prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem. A second goal is to improve wildlife habitat by inducing new shoots from sprouting species to increase forage production, with islands of unburned fuel left within burn units to provide shelter for small mammals. A third goal is to reduce overall fuel loading to decrease the chance of catastrophic wildfires in the future. Several units of this VMP have been successfully burned

WHITE ROCK

The prescribed burning conducted under this VMP project will be done tomeet a specific objective and conducted under specific climatic conditions to ensure control and minimize air quality and biological impacts. These conditions will mimic air, soil, and vegetation moisture, and other conditions under which natural wildfires occur so as to maximize the positive effects of fire on vegetation. The primary goal of this prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem. A second goal is to improve wildlife habitat by inducing new shoots from sprouting species to increase forage production, with islands of unburned fuel left within burn units to provide shelter for small mammals. A third goal is to reduce overall fuel loading to decrease the chance of catastrophic wildfires in the future.

BELL SPRINGS ROAD COMMUNITY

The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council is in the planning stages of a fire reduction project on Bell Springs Road. We estimate that there are about 200 habitable structures in the project area of 65,000 acres. Bell Springs Road is a WUI area that needs fire roads, shaded fuel breaks, fuel reduction areas, installing water tanks for fire suppression activities, and the creation of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.  The area consists of steep terrain covered with in a mix of grasslands, conifer, and mature brush.

LAYTONVILLE AND LEGGETT

The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council is in the planning stages of a fire reduction project in the areas of Laytonville and Leggett. This will be accomplished by creating shaded fuel breaks, and fuel reduction areas, developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan to reduce the impacts of wildfire to habitable structures in the SRA. The project boundaries are the south end of Long Valley and north to Leggett, west on Branscomb Road and east to 2.5 miles up Dos Rios Road. The main focus will be the fuels reduction to protect an estimated 1200 homes within the treatment area.

 

BATTALION 5 TARGET AREAS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1) Lambert Ridge 2) Venturi
3) Folded Hills 4) Navarro Watershed

LAMBERT RIDGE

CAL FIRE in cooperation with a local landowner is looking into a possiblefuel break along Lambert Ridge. A shaded fuel break is a forest management strategy used for mitigating the threat of wildfire in areas where natural fire regimes have been suppressed, leading to a dangerous buildup of combustible vegetation. Constructing a shaded fuel break is the process of selectively thinning and removing more flammable understory vegetation while leaving the majority of larger, more fire tolerant tree species in place.

VENTURI & FOLDED HILLS

The prescribed burning conducted under these VMP projects will be doneto meet specific objectives and conducted under specific climatic conditions to ensure control and minimize air quality and biological impacts. These conditions will mimic air, soil, and vegetation moisture, and other conditions under which natural wildfires occur so as to maximize the positive effects of fire on vegetation. The primary goal of these prescribed burns is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem. A second goal is to improve wildlife habitat by inducing new shoots from sprouting species to increase forage production, with islands of unburned fuel left within burn units to provide shelter for small mammals. A third goal is to reduce overall fuel loading to decrease the chance of catastrophic wildfires in the future.

NAVARRO WATERSHED

The Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Andersen Valley Fire District, CAL FIRE, Mendocino Fire Safe Council and Mendocino Redwood Company are in the planning stages to reduce fuel loading and establish shaded fuel breaks in and around the subdivisions within the Navarro Watershed. This area is a Wildland- Urban Interface and the proposed project aims to reduce fire danger and greenhouse gas emissions. Treatments will focus on vegetation treatments and forest stand improvements.

 

BATTALION 6 TARGET AREAS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

  1. Gorse
  1. SOD Removal
  1. State Park Hazard Trees
  1. Albion Fire District

GORSE

Gorse (ulex europaeus) removal/reduction in the Caspar area alongHighway 1. This was a previously identified 3-year project for the eradication of this extremely invasive shrub that poses a significant access hazard and a serious fire danger due to its density and fuel loading. It is also a threat to the biodiversity of wildland areas. Removal is a difficult challenge due to Gorse’s sharp thorns which can easily pierce gloves.

SOD REMOVAL

This is a potential on-going project may continue as more hazard trees are identified and the SOD spores migrate to different areas. Outbreaks are evaluated and monitored back local landowners and CAL FIRE personnel.

STATE PARKS HAZARD TREE REMOVAL

Cooperatively working with DPR to remove hazard trees in multiple State Parks and Public Use areas. Some of the tree removal has been to eliminate non-native species such as Eucalyptus. A small portion in MacKerricker was devoted to treatment for Sudden Oak Death Syndrome.

ALBION FIRE DISTRICT
The Albion Fire District is in the planning stages of a multiple project within their district. Planning is currently underway to improve ingress/egress, improve address signage, development of emergency water supplies, multiple fire reduction projects and development of possibly with the Mendocino Fire Safe Council, of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.