At a lightly attended online meeting Jan. 7, Trinity County Resource Conservation District sought input on the Trinity County Community Wildfire Plan.
Amelia Fleitz, watershed program manager for the district, explained the Trinity County Wildfire Protection Plan and talked about its 2020 update.
Fleitz focused on projects that were identified in 2019 community meetings. At that time, fire departments and community members identified projects and areas where fire reduction projects could occur.
“This comes from a larger effort for fire protection planning within Trinity County,” she explained, “which came about with the Trinity County Firesafe Council, a leader in firesafe planning on the community level, which wrote one of the first community firesafe plans in the nation.” Saying the latest effort and is funded by Cal Fire, Fleitz said the evening meeting would feature a revision and an update to the plan.
She said the formation of the plan identified many potential projects around the county and those can be used as leverage to bring funding to the county.
“TCRCD, as well as the Watershed Research and Training Center (WRTC), used this as a planning document to apply for grants and bring that in to complete defensible space, fuel breaks, and those styles of projects throughout Trinity County,” she said. “As well, as the WRTC is starting to work more on controlled burns, prescribed burns, and pile burning throughout the area.”
She said over the past five years TCRCD brought more than $5 million in funding to the county, and $8.5 million in fuels reduction in the past 20 years. She said the funding employs locals to do the work, while creating a safer forest for everyone. She explained how projects were scored and ranked, based on wildfire history, ingress/egress access, proximity to the wildland urban interface, and proximity to essential infrastructure.
She said 263 projects were identified during community meetings and explained how they were prioritized. She said TCRCD has a deadline of Jan. 15 for any additional projects.
“Anything after that will be included in an online web portal, it just won’t be included in the official text,” she said, adding that the document may be updated over time.
Projects included fuel breaks along roads, defensible space around communities, and some landscaping style projects and others.
While no new projects were suggested, Post Mountain Fire Department Chief Astrid Dobo said she would love to get her community involved in fire protection and clearing of dead trees left by the Blue Fire and the August Complex. She said that recent census identified as many as 3,400 residents in the Trinity Pines/ Post Mountain area. Noting that many chose not to leave as the August Complex reached Highway 36, Dobo said the area needs to begin doing remediation to improve fire safety.
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