Fuels Reduction and Fire Planning

Fuels Reduction and Fire Planning

The recent increase in wildfire severity due to drought and other climate change impacts throughout the state of California has served to educate rural landowners on the need to regularly reduce their hazardous fuels in the forests and near their homes. Throughout the Mattole Watershed our fire interval return is low, however due to high precipitation rates aiding vigorous vegetation growth, annual treatments of fuel are necessary to decrease the risk of wildfire becoming catastrophic to our communities. We all need to clear growth around our homes and in our forests to protect not only our property but our neighbors. Often MRC offers financial incentives through a program called Fire-adapted Landscapes and Safe Homes or FLASH (see below), but this is dependent on grant funding. At times we also have funding for elderly or alter-abled residents to treat the 100-foot area around their homes. In addition, MRC applies for funding to treat critical roadways for safe evacuation of residents and access for fire personnel. CalFIRE considers most of the Mattole watershed to be at a very high risk of wildfire. Working at a larger landscape level, MRC crews work with landowners and public resources to create ridgeline shaded fuel breaks.

FLASH (Fire-adapted Landscapes And Safe Homes)

The FLASH program is for landowners that are interested in receiving a reimbursement for fuels reduction work completed by the landowner or hired crews on their land. If you would like to be included in the FLASH program, please email ali@mattole.org or call 707-629-3514, TDD/TTY: (800) 877-8339.  For more information, click here.

Roadside Shaded Fuel Breaks

The MRC sometimes gets project funding to decrease hazardous fuels along roadways, public and private. County roads are prioritized due to their importance as evacuation routes. Treatments also aim to increase safe access for emergency responders. Crews use saws to thin vegetation and limb remaining trees. Next they come through with a chipper.

Neighborhood and Landscape Fuels Reduction

The MRC works with private and public landowners to plan large-scale fuel breaks along strategic ridges for to better prepare for wildfire. If you have a potential project in your area, or would like to participate in a multi-landowner project, email ali@mattole.org or call 707-629-3514, TDD/TTY: (800) 877-8339.

Vegetation Management Plan

The Vegetation Management Program (VMP) is a cost-sharing program that focuses on the use of prescribed fire, and mechanical means, for addressing wildland fire fuel hazards and other resource management issues on State Responsibility Area (SRA) lands. VMP allows private landowners to enter into a contract with Cal Fire to use prescribed fire to accomplish a combination of fire protection and resource management goals. For more information, visit the Cal Fire website.

CFIP (California Forest Improvement Program)

CFIP projects are for forest landowners interested in improving the health and productivity of their forests on ownerships between 20 and 50,000 acres in the State. Cost-shared activities include management planning, site preparation, tree purchase and planting, timber stand improvement, fish and wildlife habitat improvement, and land conservation practices. Projects can also target the reduction of wildland vegetation hazards (or fuels). Each CFIP application has to have a management plan and a Registered Professional Forester (RPF). For more information, please click here to visit the Cal Fire CFIP page.

Chipper Rentals

The MRC provides a chipper, truck, and two skilled chipper operators for hire if in the greater Petrolia area, with a mileage charge starting at $1/mile beyond 10 miles, $2/mile for off-pavement . If you are interested in receiving a quote for chipper work, contact Ali at ali@mattole.org or 707-629-3514, TDD/TTY: (800) 877-8339.