Since being re-constituted in 2015, Oak to Timberline Fire Safe Council (OTFSC) has received nine fuels reduction/fire prevention grants totaling $2,555,408.
Six of the grants were from the CAL FIRE Fire Prevention (FP) program ($2,375,608) and three from PG&E ($179.800).
The CAL FIRE FP grants were funded initially by the SRA FPF (State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund) and more recently by the CCI (California Climate Investments) Fund. The following is a June 2022 listing of OTFSC’s Pending, Current and Completed grant projects.
PINEHURST/MIRAMONTE INGRESS/EGRESS FUEL BREAKS
We proposed creating roadside fuel breaks to significantly improve ingress/egress for residents, first responders, and tourists in the At-Risk communities of Pinehurst and Miramonte. The fuel breaks would diminish the intensity and slow the spread of a wildfire’s progress and reduce the risk of careless human-caused roadside ignitions of wildfires. This project ties in directly with two OTFSC shaded fuel break projects now in progress in the area and continues a fuels reduction effort funded in a recent CCI FP fuels reduction grant. The main objective is to work out 30 feet from roadside edges, eliminating overhead fuel canopies, and interrupting the continuity of fuels across and along the primary winding, ingress/egress routes in this heavily fuel-laden region, where dense fuels generally come right to roadside. Both mechanical and hand treatments will be used , and the contractual work is specifically designed to minimize greenhouse gas emissions in its treatment of the harvested biomass.
This project requests $861,250, is approved by CAL FIRE Fire Prevention Program for funding with California Climate Investments funds and now awaits the finalization of the state contractual agreement.
BROOKSIDE FUEL BREAK
This grant project will create a 200'-wide, 81-acre shaded fuel break along the length of Brookside Road in the community of Miramonte, a WUI At- Risk Community in the High/Very High Fire Severity Zones of the Sierra foothills contiguous with Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, the Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Sequoia National Forest.
The fuel break runs along Mill Creek drainage for 3.3 miles just below Dunlap Road, in an area that is heavily loaded in fuels. Although it was seriously threatened in 2015 by the 153,000-acre Rough Fire, it saw its last major fire decades ago, in the 1950s (McGee Fire). The proposed fuel break will benefit over 400 habitable structures, as well as federal, state, county, utility, communications, and community infrastructure. It will dramatically improve ingress-egress for residents and first responders, help prevent the spread and intensity of a wildfire's progress, and create safer spaces at which wildfires can be fought.
This project will expand the work of our previous fuels reduction grants, is in line with California, Fresno County, and CAL FIRE strategic plans and our CWPP and will tie in well with projects, both new and projected, by CAL FIRE, US Forest Service, Fresno County OES, and Sierra RCD partners. Contractual work is specifically designed to promote climate resiliency, minimize carbon emissions, and enhance carbon sequestration.
The CAL FIRE Fire Prevention approved California Climate Investments funding is $274,503 and the 2 year project will be completed March 15, 2024.
PINEHURST COMMUNITY FUEL BREAK
This project will create a 277 acre, 400 foot wide shaded fuel break surrounding the WUI community of Pinehurst, which is a Fresno County Sierra foothills Community At Risk. Pinehurst lies at 4000 ft elevation within the Very High Fire Severity Zone contiguous with Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. The shaded fuel break will help protect more than 200 permanent structures in the immediate vicinity, including homes, businesses, federal (USFS), state (CALTRANS), and community buildings, a heliport, a communications tower, utility assets, vacation rentals, and 3 densely-populated cabin enclaves in Pinehurst. It will provide the first fuel break in the Pinehurst area, a new location in the region from which first responders can fight fires more safely. In addition to Pinehurst, it can help to protect the Giant Sequoias and the National Parks, Monument & Forest and their visitors from fires ignited in and climbing upslope from the grasslands/chaparral and oak/evergreen forested WUI lands at lower elevations. It also can help to protect the adjacent at-risk communities of Miramonte and Dunlap, from any fires, like the 2015 Rough Fire, coming down from the forested lands upslope. It is to be created based on three existing state and county roads, which are the only evacuation routes for Pinehurst; and so it will very significantly improve ingress/egress for this populated area. This project would expand the work of our previous 5 fuels reduction tree mortality grants in the area and would tie in well with the projects, both current and projected, of OTFSC Partners: CALFIRE, USFS, CALTRANS and Fresno County OES. The planned contractual work is specifically designed to promote climate resiliency, minimizing carbon emissions and enhancing carbon sequestration.
The CAL FIRE Fire Prevention approved California Climate Investments funding is $661,005 and the 3 year project will be completed March 15, 2024.
Fuels Reduction for Very High/High Fire Hazard Severity Zones adjacent to Kings Canyon and Sequoia Natiional Parks
As in previous tree mortality grants the goal was to fell dead and dying trees and to buck the logs and masticate the slash. This 3 year grant also was used to remove the logs and the log decks left in previous grants.
The approved California Climate Investments funding was $278,850 and the project was completed March 2022.
Hazardous Fuels Reduction for Pinehurst and Miramonte Foothill Communities
In this 3 year grant dead and dying tree mortality trees were felled and bucked and the slash generated was masticated .
The approved State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund funding was $100,000 and the project was completed March 2019.
Tree Removal for the High Fire Hazard Severity Zones in the North Central Tulare Co. Sierra Foothills
In this 3 year grant dead and dying tree mortality trees were felled and bucked and the slash was masticed. The logs were removed or repurposed. The project serviced the communities of Eshom Valley and Hartland, including the Boy Scout Camp and Hartland Christian Camp in Hartland .
The approved State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund funding was $200,000 and the project was completed March 2020