October 4, 2011
This year marks the 5th year that the Lassen County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) Working Group has gathered, reviewed and ranked projects and also reviewed and adopted changes to the Wildland Urban Interface boundaries throughout the county. Each year we are finding more ways to work collaboratively together.
Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc. continues to build on our strong partnerships and we have an aggressive program of active and planned fuel treatments. We are also ramping up the pace of getting communities organized through the Firewise Communities USA program. Last year Clear Creek and Lake Forest became the 5th and 6th communities to receive Firewise recognition. Part and parcel of this Firewise effort is our one on one contact with residents through our Risk Assessment in the Home Ignition Zone consultations. Here residents learn what they can do to reduce structural ignitability in the advent of a nearby wildfire. Almost 200 were conducted last year and we’ll exceed that number in 2011. One important point to remember: Many of the homes that are lost in wildfires are ignited by embers from a fire a substantial distance away, and then the home ignites the adjacent vegetation, not vice versa! As we say in our homeowner consultations: “This new information is standing things on their head in California where there is a huge and important emphasis on defensible space.” Just having defensible space will not protect the home from an ember shower, one must also address structural ignitability. We’re getting rave reviews from residents and we often hear “I had no idea…” when we finish our visits.
Last year we set a record for acres treated within our communities with over 700 completed in Janesville, Lake Forest, and also in Elysian Valley where the Lassen National Forest stepped up and treated an additional 160 acres. This year we’ll be on track to match that effort in the Archery Childrens/Elysian Valley communities and in Lake Forest where we are working with residents and our partner Sierra Pacific Industries is treating around the community. None of our work would be possible without the Title III Fund financial support that has been granted to us by the Lassen County Board of Supervisors. They support our activities and in turn we leverage these funds to bring more fuel treatments and more Firewise/Fire Safe programs to our communities. That helps protect residents and it helps residents protect themselves.
A big thank you to all our partners in the Lassen County CWPP Working Group,
Tom Esgate, Managing Director