ALTURAS, Calif. — Community Wildfire Preparedness Week is now over, but that does not mean it is time to stop preparing for the inevitable. Folks living in fire-prone ecosystems know the work they put in ahead of time can reduce the impacts of damaging wildfire.
The community of Rush Creek Estates, Modoc National Forest and Modoc Fire Safe Council completed some of these preparations on May 11 as part of Wildfire Preparedness Week. However, many folks at Rush Creek have already done an excellent job reducing fuels near their homes and other buildings. They are to be commended, and there is always more to do.
“With the exclusion of wildfire over the past century or so, fire-prone forests have become overstocked with ground and mid-level fuels that carry high-intensity wildfire very quickly,” said Acting District Ranger Garrett Noles. “Mimicking the results of natural low-intensity fire by mechanically removing smaller trees can protect the larger, fire-resilient trees and structures in the wildland-urban interface.”
With all this in mind, forest personnel are planning and implementing a number of projects in this area. Rush Creek residents near the forest boundary have already seen trees marked for future operations. Rush 2 and Kresge forest health and fuels reduction projects are planned between Rush Creek and Manzanita Mountain. Project objectives include reducing the number of smaller trees—or ladder fuels—to help keep fire out of the crowns of larger trees and on the forest floor where it enhances the forest’s resilience to catastrophic wildfire by removing moderate and fine fuels.
Planning for these restoration activities includes environmental compliance and public involvement for each new area identified for potential treatment. The Forest Service encourages folks to engage during the specified scoping period for each project. All projects are advertised in the local newspaper and posted on the web at https://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/current-sopa.php?forest=110509.
“Submitting input during specified scoping periods is the most effective way to identify concerns early in the planning process for possible inclusion for implementation,” Noles concluded.
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