Tuolumne City Community CWPP

COMMUNITY WILDFIRE PROTECTION PLAN (CWPP)
FOR THE
Greater Tuolumne City Community

Attachment to the Tuolumne County CWPP, Dated December 14, 2004(f)

Introduction

Four times in the last 25 years, major conflagrations have burned upslope within the North Fork Tuolumne River canyon – each time threatening the residents of the Greater Tuolumne City Community Area and causing extensive damage to watershed resources, timber, wildlife habitat, and private property. During the same period, intense firestorms have consumed many tens of thousands of acres of federal lands adjacent to this at-risk area, due in part to dense flashy fuels, long summer seasons without any measurable precipitation, and a history of both human and lightning-caused ignitions during extreme fire weather periods.

Now, due to highly effective grassroots community efforts by the Highway 108 FireSafe Council in cooperation with State, Federal, and Native American partners, a wide range of fuels reduction projects along the Highway 108 corridor have helped stimulate a growing base of community involvement in fire preparedness and fuels reduction efforts. In recent years, Federal land managers, with State cooperation, are aggressively treating more than 10 miles of heavily overgrown area along the Highway 108 corridor in the conifer forests and chaparral fuels that lie further up the North Fork Tuolumne River canyon below more than 2,000 homes and other development.

However without intensive fuels treatments and the extension of the 10 mile fuels treatment westward to Buchanan Road and on through the Tuolumne City Fuel break to Mt Eaton, fires coming out of the river canyon may not only devastate the Greater Tuolumne City Community (which has suffered four community-wide fires in the last 100 years) as well as nearby subdivisions, but such wildfires could loop around the federal land treatments and burn eastward up into a string of Highway 108 communities at higher elevations..

This Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is prepared pursuant to Public Law 108-148, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA). In accordance with HFRA, this plan describes the measures necessary to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire and restore healthy forest ecological conditions on Stanislaus National Forest (STF) lands, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands adjacent to the following properties:

Tuolumne City with 724 homes – (A Community at Risk in the National Register)

Ponderosa Hills -Arastraville with 306 homes (A Community at Risk in National Register )

Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Rancheria with 72 homes at risk.

Mira Monte Subdivision with 27 homes at risk.

Muller Subdivision with 38 homes at risk.

As required by public law 108-148, this plan includes the following:

A map of the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) applicable to the communities covered by this CWPP;

Prioritization of areas requiring thinning and treatment;

A description of the desired forest conditions sought by the residents of these communities and by the collaborators to this plan; and

A description of necessary measures within these communities to protect lives and structures from wildfires within the planning area.

This plan includes a “project level” recommendation to implement specific projects within the analysis area. It is the responsibility of individual cooperating property owners in collaboration with the STF, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF), and the BLM to plan and implement federal, state, and joint or community-wide projects to accomplish the goals of this plan. Project level plans and analysis include compliance with existing laws as well as existing management plans. The Greater Tuolumne City Community understands this plan will not affect, nor delay, any existing agency project or any project that is at a planning stage such that revisions would hinder implementation. The communities do, however, intend for the cooperating agencies to incorporate these recommendations into projects that are early in the planning process and wherever else possible.

COORDINATION WITH TUOLUMNE COUNTY CWPP PLAN

This plan covers approximately 6,000 acres of combined private lands, USFS lands and BLM lands that are all collectively situated northwest of the North Fork of the Tuolumne River and are displayed on the attached WUI map. This Plan is an attachment to the Tuolumne County CWPP, dated December 14, 2004.

The Tuolumne County CWPP adopted by the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisor states on pages 61-62:

“Tuolumne City is located near the canyon rim of the North Fork of the Tuolumne River. Wildland fires that have originated in the river canyon have threatened this area numerous times. Protecting the city and surrounding areas from these fires has cost the… (CDF) … emergency fund several million dollars. The most notable are the Graham Incident of August 1996, which cost the state over $1.2 million, and the Stanislaus Complex of September 1987, with a cost of $1.6 million.”

These projects will substantially decrease the cost of providing protection for the area when future fire occurs.

The projects described in this plan will be cooperative projects between CDF, BLM, and STF, as well as the Me-Wuk Tribe, the Highway 108 FireSafe Council, various community organizations, and participating local landowners. When completed, the highest priority projects identified in this plan will result in a 5 mile-long fuel break (along the ridge-top rim of the Tuolumne River canyon) and a quarter-mile wide vegetation treatment area that will both tie directly into the more than 10 miles of fuel break and associated thinning/shredding treatments either already completed or now being completed by the Stanislaus National Forest.

The Greater Tuolumne City CWPP plan is based upon a series of projects that will focus on protecting the Communities and other values that are at risk from wildfire in the area upslope from the North Fork of the Tuolumne River. The highest priority projects will tie into the Skyline, Provo, and Turnback Creek-Ponderosa Hills projects to the east which in turn adjoin the STF (South 108 fuel reduction Project 1695) fuel break (which currently terminates northeast of Mt. Provo) – greatly increasing the overall effectiveness of these already approved or completed projects.

Not only are many lives and hundreds of structures at risk within the plan area, but the valuable watershed would also sustain major damage should a major wildfire burn across the area. Damage to this watershed would affect hydroelectric facilities, the timber industry, domestic water supplies, recreational facilities and many environmental resources in the area downstream from the project site. Past fires in this general area of the watershed not only cost the state and federal governments millions of dollars to suppress, but those fires also inflicted great monetary loss to the public and private stakeholder assets.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS

This plan was developed by a collaborative citizens’ steering committee consisting of:

Rick Jerome – Muller Subdivision

Vickie Mantzouranis – Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk

Jo Kolp – Mira Monte Subdivision

Bob Hackamack – Ponderosa Hills

Dick Southern – Tuolumne Township Citizens Group Chairman

John Hardin – Highway 108 FireSafe Council President

John Buckley – Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center

COORDINATION WITH PUBLIC AGENCIES

The following public agency representatives also assisted in the development of this plan:

Rex Buthmann – Tuolumne City Fire Protection District

Mike Noonan – Tuolumne County Fire Assistant Fire Warden

Barry Rudolph - CDF Battalion Chief

Gary Egger – Tuolumne Utility District Manager

Maureen Frank – Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Service

Jim Peterson – Tuolumne County Supervisor

Jerry McGowan – STF Deputy Forest Fire Management Officer

Rob Laeng – STF Mi-Wok Ranger District Resource Protection Officer

Deane Swickart – BLM Field Manager

Steve Boyack – Assistant to Tuolumne County Administrator

STANISLAUS NATIONAL FOREST FIRE MANAGEMENT PLAN

In describing the land which includes the Greater Tuolumne City area in Fire Management Unit #1 (FMU #1), the STF fire management plan makes these statements:

(This area) contains the highest concentration of improvement at risk from wildland fires.

Approximately 1588 wildfires have originated in FMU#1 Between 1970 and 2002; 40% of the total fires on the Forest during that time.

In the lower elevations, heavy surface fuel loads and ladder fuels in many areas result in increased potential for high flame length, rapid rates of spread, and development of crown fire.

This FMU is predominantly in condition class 3.

The most significant features on the Forest (in FMU#1) that contribute to wildland fire control problems are steep east-west drainage covered with vegetation and aligned predominately west to south westerly winds.

Management objectives in the document specific to FMU#1 include:

The highest priority for fire management in this FMU is to protect human communities from wildfire.

Prescribed fire and non-fire fuel treatment are designed to reduce flame length to less than 4 feet.

Develop and maintain cooperative agreements and working relationships with adjacent private landowners and other agencies to enable execution of hazard fuel reduction projects continuously across jurisdictional boundaries.

The STF’s Environmental Assessment for the South 108 Fuel Reduction Project (Project # 1695 April 2005) supports these points for the Greater Tuolumne City Community Plan:

Fire History 1912 to 2003: Two very large fires (26,000 and 36,000 acres) and numerous other major wildfires have burned within or have originated within the North Fork Tuolumne River Canyon, affecting residents of the plan area.

Fire Condition Class: The Entire North Fork Tuolumne River Canyon along and below the plan area is rated Condition Class 3.

Fire Hazard Rating: The Entire North Fork Tuolumne River Canyon is rated Very High.

Wildland Urban Intermix Zone: The majority of the North Fork Tuolumne River along the Canyon Rim and below the plan area is rated as a Defense Zone.

WILDLAND URBAN INTERFACE (WUI):

The residential community areas in this plan are threatened not only by fuels on private lands, but also by the forest and brush land fuels managed by the STF and BLM. Because of the varied and extremely hazardous fuels conditions in the North Fork Tuolumne River Canyon the Steering Committee chose to designate interface boundaries at 1.5-mile distance which includes BLM and USFS public lands.

The highest priority projects identified in this plan are based on three key fuel treatments:

1) Individual property owners throughout the Greater Tuolumne City Community Area must aggressively meet the requirements of California Public Resource Code Section 4291 by clearing flammable fuels away from structures.

2) The second priority is to provide a fuel break along major ridgeline roads for residential evacuation and effective firefighter access.

3) The third priority is to introduce vegetation treatments up to 1/4 mile back from the Eureka Ditch (the main water supply line for the CWPP), from structures and the roads in order to reduce ladder fuels, reduce fuel continuity, and to break up fuel arrangement so that surface fuels will not exist at levels that can carry a crown fire upslope toward values at risk.

The FireSafe Council and most of the residents represented by this plan understand that they live in a Very High Fire Risk Zone. Regardless of how and why the conditions were allowed to develop, they recognize that without intensive efforts to thin, shred, disk, burn, or otherwise treat forests and brush fuels along the slopes and rim of the North Fork Tuolumne River canyon, they face an extreme risk of losing their homes, neighborhoods, and possibly their lives, to catastrophic fire.

MEASURES TO REDUCE STRUCTURAL IGNITABILITY

The private lands within the plan area have been classified by the CDF as “Very High Fire Risk.” In the past, relatively few property owners aggressively treated fuels within 30’ of structures as required by State law. However, due to intensive and successful efforts in the last three years by the Highway 108 FireSafe Council, the Me-Wuk Tribal Council, and cooperating state and federal agencies, there has been a marked improvement in fuel clearance treatments by many property owners.

A new California law now requires fuel clearance for a minimum of 100 feet around structures. CDF, the Tuolumne County Fire Marshal, and the Highway 108 FireSafe Council are collectively working on a coordinated education and enforcement program within the plan area to increase compliance with the new standards. The FireSafe Council will aggressively press for even greater compliance by homeowners within the plan area. Wildfire risk reduction around structures also will depend on an effective Tuolumne County ordinance to address wildfire threat that exists due to undeveloped, uncleared lots lying intermixed with existing properties where good clearances have been created around structures.

All wildland-urban interface property owners have a basic responsibility to share in this complete and coordinated protection system by doing their own personal part to compliment government efforts against fire. The communities understand that there are established principles governing the management of fire-resistant private property. Educational programs committed to meeting these standards are underway to ensure that developed lots shall have a 100* defensible space around the buildings, trees are to be thinned and pruned, shrubs are to be separated and devoid of dead material and to have been removed from under trees, and any roadway must have a 10* clearance on both sides. A fire resistant undeveloped lot should have an open appearance with trees widely spaced and without underbrush that could ignite the over-story trees.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATION FOR FEDERAL LAND

WITHIN THE WUI OF THE

GREATER TUOLUMNE CITY COMMUNITY

The communities seek forest thinning and brush treatment projects within the WUI covered by this Plan, as follows:

Residents, homeowners groups, and individuals within the Greater Tuolumne City Community Area will join with the STF and BLM to use the authorities provided through the Healthy Forest Initiative and HFRA to undertake an extension of the South Highway 108 Fuel Reduction Project’s fuelbreak and fuel treatments. The goal will be to provide connectivity of a fuel break and aggressive vegetation treatments on private, federal, and Me-Wuk Tribal lands to the south of the federal treatments and on through the community of Tuolumne to a point near Mt. Eaton. Individual STF projects within that overall program of work may be added on to the existing South 108 project or new individual projects may be designed using the new categorical exclusion authority for individual projects covering less than 1000 acres. Individual BLM and CDF projects will also be part of the coordinated program.

The Highway 108 FireSafe Council will play a major role in assisting the STF and BLM in working with the diversity of private property stakeholders that are directly involved in this fuel reduction project in order to assure a continuous project that truly reduces fire risk and protects lives and property. The FireSafe Council will apply for grants and any other available sources of funding to assist in private land compliance.

In general, the dominant initial strategy in the fuel reduction and maintenance program will be the aggressive removal of chaparral, thickets of live oak, or other ladder fuels along the ridge line and below private residences along the North Fork Tuolumne River canyon in an effort to create a shaded fuel break with trimmed up large trees. Surface and ladder fuels will be reduced through the removal of under story ladder fuels and the treatment of flashy surface fuels wherever feasible.

In exclusively chaparral stands, wherever site conditions are favorable, a variety of treatments ranging from shredding, discing, goats or other livestock, controlled burning, crushing or mastication may be employed; intensive thinning of brush should also occur, especially where brush has the potential to threaten upslope structures.

Within 1/4 mile of any residential area, and within 100 feet of roads, trees should be thinned to open up the forest and to protect and enhance the survival of large trees on any given site in the event of wildfire. Ladder fuels and shrubs should be removed by chainsaw cutting, mowing, shredding, disking, or prescribed burning. Unlike the conifer forest areas that lie upslope and further east along the ridge this area is flashy fuel, oak and brush dominated landscape. The overriding priority for fuel reduction in this Greater Tuolumne City Community should be the development of an open oak savannah forest and open chaparral landscape, with either large trees or individual bushes spaced to minimize connectivity and arrangement of flashy, heavy fuels. Such a severe limitation on ladder fuels will provide far greater protection against a crown wildfire. As part of the responsibility of private property owners who participate in the overall treatments to create the fuel break and a broad fuel reduction zone, there will be the clear expectation that mowing and thinning follow-up treatments must be maintained by property owners with treatments roughly every five years to assure less than four-foot flame lengths in the event of fire.

In the threat zone areas farther than 1/4 mile from residences or other high value resources at risk, vegetation treatments will be the next priority with a goal to accomplish greater diversity of forest structure, a greater variety of size and age classes of mature, fire-resistant trees, and a selected, but spaced, mosaic of shrubs and other vegetation to support wildlife.

Throughout the WUI designated by this plan, oak woodland and chaparral areas should be treated to the extent that the removal of ladder fuels and gaps in connectivity prevent any fast-moving, intensive crown fire.

In general, this plan intends that wherever they may exist within the plan area, that cedar, pines, live oaks, black oaks, and other tree species be retained over brush because they attain a greater age and diameter and are more resistant to fire, insects, and disease.

The plan also intends that the goal of the project should be the creation of a fire-resistant forest, oak woodland, or open chaparral fuel break that is unlikely to carry any crown fire into adjacent communities. Any projects planned within this WUI must be effective and continuous; they must compliment already completed work and continue to anchor existing fuel breaks and other already successful efforts done to protect at-risk communities.

Within the analysis area and WUI are side roads with scattered residences intermixed with public land. These private property-holders would be unprotected if planning focused only on establishment of the proposed fuel break along the main road or ridgeline. Accordingly, aggressive fuel treatments of brush, oaks, and surface fuels must be applied to areas extending at least 1/4-mile down-slope from these existing structures in order to provide continuity of fuels reduction treatments. Adequate property protection and safe evacuation routes should be provided where practical by utilizing the defense zone fuel treatment prescription to wrap around these fingers of residential clusters that protrude out from the primary string or blocks of structures clustered along the ridgeline (which will gain significant protection by the creation of the main fuel break).

PRIORITIES FOR TREATMENT OF

SPECIFIC AREAS OF FOCUS WITHIN THE WUI

The following projects are all included and recommended in the draft for the Highway 108 Strategic Fire Plan, dated 04/13/05.

The Highway 108 Strategic Plan is a collaborative effort of the STF, BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, Tuolumne County Fire Department, CDF, Sierra Pacific Industries and the Highway 108 FireSafe Council.

HIGHEST PRIORITY FOR TREATMENT

The Steering Committee recommends the over-all project described below

as an incredibly high value area for treatment.

Extension of road 2N09 fuel-break and 1/4 mile wide fuel treatments from the present south end of the STF fuel break at the northeast corner of Section 22, south along 2N09 and the Eureka Ditch, down through the Mira Monte subdivision to Buchanan Road

This high priority 4-mile ridgeline is truly crucial to protecting not only the Ponderosa Hills subdivision, the Mira Monte subdivision, and various clusters of other residential development that are presently at high risk from wildfire, but a fuel break and aggressive fuel treatment zone along this 1/4 mile wide area would greatly increase the likelihood of the approved Forest Service fuel break actually functioning successfully during a major wildfire event coming up out of the river canyon. In addition, the positive fuel reduction work being done in the Turnback Creek and Skyline areas will also benefit from having adjacent fuels treatment extended westward to the eventual first anchor point at Buchanan Road.

The following components of this highest priority project make up this crucial fuel break and fuel treatment zone:

Forest Road 2N09 to Muller Water Treatment Plant

Location: This fuel break follows Forest Road 2N09 for 2 ½ miles from the NE corner of Section 22, to Ponderosa Hills water treatment plant continuing south along 2N09 and Eureka Water Ditch to Muller Mutual water treatment plant. Map Sections 28 & 33.

Description: This area has heavy downhill fuel load on private, BLM and STF land. High risk Nelles Gulch ends in a broad basin at the top of the river canyon just below Ponderosa Hills subdivision. Nelles Gulch is mostly STF and BLM land. Uphill from 2N09 is the Eureka Ditch, the only source of domestic and fire protection water for the communities in this section of the plan area.

Problem: Once the Eureka Ditch crosses over from the Turnback Creek, drainage into the river canyon it becomes vulnerable to wildland fire interruptions. Fuel reduction and creating a defensible space along the domestic water way could be critical to providing fire hydrant water supply to a large fire spreading from the STF upslope into private communities.

Fuel Treatment along Road 2N09: Hand thin or mechanically shred brush and small trees from both sides of roadway edge for a minimum distance of 100 feet. Remove surface and ladder fuels to produce flame length of less than 4 feet in height. Create adequate ingress and egress for fire suppression forces and area residents. Eliminate all dead snags within the 100-foot treatment zone. Reduce canopy cover sufficiently (minimum crown width) to allow effective application of aerial fire retardant. Achieve a canopy base height to reduce crown fire initiation, but in no case less than 6 feet in height from the ground. Remove any tree determined to be hazardous or a threat to maintaining the roadway surface in the event of an evacuation or fire suppression operations.

Fuel Treatment along Eureka Water ditch: Hand thin or mechanically shred brush and small trees for a distance of approximately 1320 feet ( 1/4 mile) downhill along North Fork Tuolumne River canyon. Reduce canopy cover sufficiently (minimum one crown width) to allow effective application of aerial fire retardant. Achieve a canopy base height to reduce crown fire initiation, but in no case less than 6 feet in height above the ground. Reduce canopy cover a minimum of one crown width to minimize overlapping crown to eliminate the potential of active crown fire. Remove or burn heavy downed logs and other slash/litter debris.

Main Mira Monte section

Location: Extending from the Muller Mutual water treatment plant down along the east side of Mira Monte subdivision to the intersection of Sunrise Drive and Buchanan Road. Map Section 4-Center

Description: Numerous homes are located along this ridgeline and along short spur roads that finger out from the ridge. This area has extremely heavy uphill brush adjacent to or below the homes. This 1/4 mile wide swath of land includes property of the Me-Wuk Tribal Council, BLM and STF.

Problem: Rapid-moving, human-caused fire originating on the Westside rails-to-trail route or along Buchanan Road could reach homes prior to even a quick fire response from agencies. Any fire sweeping past the ridgeline would also threaten the huge Ponderosa Hills subdivision, the Tuolumne Rancheria lands, and scattered individual residences sprinkled along the hillsides north of the proposed fuel break and fuel treatments.

Fuel Treatment main Mira Monte section: All structures in project area are required by law to be in compliance with California Public Resource Code Section 4291. Maintain any tree adjacent to or overhanging any building free of dead or dying wood. Maintain the roof of any structure free of leaves, needles or other dead vegetative growth. Hand thin or mechanically shred brush and small trees for a distance of approximately 1320 feet ( 1/4 mile) downhill along North Fork Tuolumne River canyon. Reduce canopy cover sufficiently to allow effective application of aerial fire retardant. Achieve a canopy base height to reduce crown fire initiation, but in no case less than 6 feet in height. Reduce canopy cover a minimum of one crown width to minimize overlapping crown to eliminate the potential of active crown fire.

SECOND HIGHEST PRIORITY FOR TREATMENT

The Steering Committee recommends the project described below as its second highest priority for treatment to provide continuous protection to the Greater Tuolumne City area.

Extension of fuel-break and 1/4-mile wide fuel treatments from Buchanan Road

south to intersection of Apple Colony and Mt. Eaton Road.

(CDF Tuolumne City Fuel break Proposed Project)

Location: This is a 2 mile area from the intersection of Buchanan Road and Canyon Drive south to First Avenue below Muller Subdivision, continuing south to Apple Colony Road.

Description: Intermix of heavy brush and fenced grassland pastures. Heavy brush adjacent to the Tuolumne water treatment plant and residences along Cedar Street.

Problem: This area of heavy underbrush and overgrown oaks and pines provides the greatest immediate threat to the township of Tuolumne and its water supply.

Fuel Treatment from Buchanan Rd. to First Avenue: All structures in project area to conform to California Public Resource Code 4291. Maintain any tree adjacent to or overhanging any building free of dead or dying wood. Maintain the roof of any structure free of leaves, needles or other dead vegetative growth. Hand thin or mechanically shred brush and small trees for a distance of approximately 1/4 mile downhill along North Fork Tuolumne River canyon. Reduce canopy cover sufficiently to allow effective application of aerial fire retardant. Achieve a canopy base height to reduce crown fire initiation, but in no case less than 6 feet in height from the ground. Reduce canopy cover a minimum of one crown width to minimize overlapping crown to eliminate the potential of active crown fire. Remove heavy downed logs and other slash/litter debris accumulation.

Fuel Treatment from First Avenue to Lady Washington Mine Rd: Hand thin or mechanically shred brush and small trees from both sides of roadway edge for a distance of 100 feet. Remove surface and ladder fuels to produce flame length of less than 4 feet in height. Create adequate ingress and egress for fire suppression forces and area residents. Eliminate all dead snags. Reduce canopy cover sufficiently (minimum crown width) to allow effective application of aerial fire retardant. Achieve a canopy base height to reduce crown fire initiation, but in no case less than 6 feet in height above ground. Remove any tree determined to be hazardous or a threat to maintaining the roadway surface in the event of an evacuation or fire suppression operations. Remove heavy downed logs and other slash/litter debris accumulation.

Fuel Treatment from Lady Washington Mine Rd to Apple Colony Road: Hand thin or mechanically shred brush and small trees in dense forested area which are intermixed with native grass land pasture fields. Reduce canopy cover sufficiently to allow effective application of aerial fire retardant. Achieve a canopy base height to reduce crown fire initiation, but in no case less than 6 feet in height above ground. Reduce canopy cover a minimum of one-crown width to minimize overlapping crown to eliminate the potential of active crown fire. Remove heavy downed logs and other slash/litter debris accumulation. Provide no treatment in native grassland pasture fields.

THIRD HIGHEST PRIORITY FOR TREATMENT

The Steering Committee recommends the area below as its third highest priority area,

providing the final link in continuous WUI protection from public lands

for all the communities along the entire North Fork of the Tuolumne River,

from Pinecrest to the Main Fork of the Tuolumne River

Extension of fuel-break and 1/4 mile wide fuel treatments

from Apple Colony Road/Mt. Eaton Road south to former Sudall Ranch.

(CDF Baker Fuel break Proposed Project)

Location: This 6.5 mile fuel break follows Apple Colony Road to the former Sudall Ranch. The fuel break continues southwest along a prominent knife back ridge terminating at the confluence of Turnback Creek and the Tuolumne River.

Description: This fuel break is predominantly a native grassland fuel type with scattered brush covered segments along the ridge top directly east of Apple Colony Road.

Problem: Fire from public lands coming north over this ridge could be the beginning of a threat to ALL the communities mentioned in this CWPP, by burning into the Turnback Creek drainage, threatening the town of Tuolumne and nearby subdivisions and then looping around to burn upward into all the communities along Highway 108.

Fuel Treatment from Apple Colony Road/Mt Eaton Road to former Sudall Ranch: Utilize dirt ranch access road to provide fuel break and safe fire access through native grasslands. Reduce horizontal and vertical fuel continuity in the brush-covered areas connecting the historical native grassland fuel types. Hand thin or mechanically shred brush and small trees in dense forested area adjacent to road, which are intermixed with native grassland pasture fields. Reduce canopy cover sufficiently to allow effective application of aerial fire retardant. Achieve a canopy base height to reduce crown fire initiation, but in no case less than 6 feet in height above ground. Reduce canopy cover a minimum of one-crown width to minimize overlapping crown to eliminate the potential of active crown fire. Remove heavy downed logs and other slash/litter debris accumulation. Provide no treatment in native grassland pasture fields.

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