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Ukiah Valley Fire Fuels Reduction Project

Project term: 2019-2021

Due to the urgency of preparing for wildfire in our community, the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council (MCFSC) is proud to be managing the Ukiah Valley Fire Fuels Reduction Project. The project’s goal is to strategically reduce fire fuels  in three ways: performing roadside clearing, creating shaded fuel breaks, and holding neighborhood chipper days.

  • Roadside clearing: Many residents in the Greater Ukiah area live out rural roads, and easy access to and from these homes are critical for effective emergency services response. Roadside clearing is the cutting and chipping of small trees, lower limbs, and brush to remove roadside vegetation and reduce ladder fuels, in order to improve the ingress of emergency response personnel and improve the egress and evacuation of the public in the event of an emergency.  A total of 18.8 miles of public and private roads will be cleared.
  • Shaded fuel breaks: A shaded fuel break is a forest management strategy used for mitigating the threat of wildfire in areas where natural wildfires have been suppressed, leading to a dangerous buildup of combustible vegetation. Creating a shaded fuel break is the process of selectively thinning and removing the more flammable understory vegetation and fallen material while leaving the majority of larger, more fire tolerant trees in place. The four shaded fuel brakes that this project involves are located near populated areas and will create buffers up to 200 feet. The breaks span a total of 151.3 square acres, and are about 6.2 miles in total length.
  • Neighborhood chipper days: MCFSC recognizes that oftentimes, landowners and residents know best what vegetation management is needed where they live. For this reason, we’re organizing a chipper program that will focus on neighborhoods most at risk in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) area. In this program, a neighborhood can request a chipper day. If approved, MCFSC will provide the chipper and workers to break down material cleared by residents from defensible space around homes and roadways. If you live on the outskirts of town and want to apply for a chipper day for your neighborhood, visit our chipper page here.

residents protected

square acres of shaded fuel break

target locations

miles of road cleared

Do you live in one of these neighborhoods?

You’ll likely want to download and turn in a Landowner Access Agreement, which can be found here:

Project Status

This section was last updated: April 27, 2020

Road Clearing is complete on Robinson Creek Road and is now proceeding on Ukiah’s east side.   The week of April 27 the crew is finishing on Redemeyer Road and will be moving to the segment of Vichy Springs Road that connects to Watson and then starting to clear South along Watson.  In early May we should be on Knob Hill Road. 

One property owner said...

“We were absolutely thrilled with the work that was done around the property. We’ve had several road clearly projects over the last 25 years, and I have to say, this is the ONLY one that looks professional and clean. This crew did an excellent job and please let them know how satisfied we are with their hard work. And thank you so much for overseeing this project and making it happen!”

The Kendalls

Shaded Fuel Breaks

Four individual shaded fuel breaks near populated areas will create buffers up to 200 feet wide. The four locations added together represent about 6.2 miles of shaded fuel brakes, with a total of 151.3 square acres cleared.

Hand crews will utilize chainsaws, pole saws, and hand tools to remove brush and dead ground fuels. Live trees of 10-inch diameter or less may be thinned and removed. Retained treeswill have branches pruned a  minimum of 8 feet from the ground. Woody biomass will be chipped onsite, and may be scattered or removed.

The four planned shaded fuel breaks are: 3.29 miles along the northwestern portion of the Ukiah Valley from Low Gap Road to Orr Springs Road (length 17,364’/ width 200’/79.72 ac.); ~1.2-miles around the Yokayo Rancheria (length 6,551’/width 200’/30.08 ac.); 0.5-mile around the Guidiville Rancheria (length 2,730’/width 200’/12.53); and ~1.2 miles along Highway 101 just north of Nelson Ranch Road (length 6,309/width 200/28.97 ac.).

Road Clearing: Robinson Creek Road

The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council (MCFSC) and CAL FIRE have identified Robinson Creek Road as a top priority area for vegetation clearing. The fuel load that has built up since the area last burned, combined with the accessibility challenges of having only one lane in and out have risen this project to among the top of the many critical safety projects. As such, we are proud to be planning and implementing road clearing work on the county portion of Robinson Creek Road from the junction of Robinson Creek Road and Highway 253.

The road clearing project for Robinson Creek is substantial. It is scheduled to cover about 3.83 miles (the county portion of the road) beginning at the junction of Robinson Creek Road and Highway 253. The project will clear vegetation (including small trees) to the extent possible for 20′ on both sides of the road and to provide vegetation clearance 15′ from the ground.

Road Clearing: Western Hills

We’re hard at work designing a plan-of-attack that best serves the needs of this community. You can find the roads we plan to clear in the map above this section. Please check back here for updates soon, we’re excited to share what we’re cooking up!

Road Clearing: Eastern Hills

We’re hard at work designing a plan-of-attack that will best serve this community. You can find the roads we plan to clear in the map above this section. Please check back here for updates soon, we’re excited to share what we’re cooking up!

Chipper Program

We’re hard at work designing a Neighborhood Chipper Program that meets the needs of our greater Ukiah and Mendocino County communities. Please check back here for updates soon; we’re excited to share what we’re cooking up! The official UVFFRP Chipper Page is here.

 

Our Conspirators

MCFSC wouldn’t be able to do this important work alone. We’d like to offer gratitude to all our community partners; including you!

The Ukiah Valley Fire Fuels Reduction Project (UVFFRP) project is funded by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the California Climate Investment Program (CCIP). The CCIP is a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment–particularly in disadvantaged communities. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website here. 

MCFSC also received funding from CAL FIRE, and worked with the CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit to prioritize  vegetation clearing areas.

As for our tree service partner on this project, it was important for us to stay local–we have arranged for Family Tree Service from Laytonville to be our service contractor on this project. 

 

 

In addition, we are committed to working closely with property owners and community stakeholders throughout this process. We will (or have already) organize a local meeting for each neighborhood involved in road clearing address concerns. We are developing a process to communicate about vegetation residents do not want cut, determine who is interested in receiving chipped material for free mulch, and identify any other special considerations neighbors might have. MCFSC is also looking for a few volunteers to take “GPS-marked” before, during and after pictures of the project.

If you have concerns you wish to air, want to organize a neighborhood chipper day, or want to volunteer to take photos of the projects in your area, please call the office at 707-462-3662 or email us below:

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Want to get involved? Download our Landowner Access Agreement here: