Shaded Fuel Breaks
Q) I know that shaded fuel breaks are an important part of protecting ones forest from wildfire, but the costs can be quite staggering. How can the costs be reduced?
A) CAL FIRE has a California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) that can provide funds for forest landowners with at least 20 acres of timberland to create shaded fuel breaks. There is a schedule of costs, rated by treatment and severity for a variety of projects that can help with the cost. It requires an RPF to prepare the management plan as well as a schedule of treatments.
I had used this program on my own forest with spectacular results. The Mill Fire in Weed, CA started on September 2, 2022, pushed by a 25 mph breeze, completely destroying the Lincoln Heights section of Weed. My forest unfortunately lies 200 yards west of Lincoln Heights and was impacted by the fire. Due to the fuels treatment, I only lost a few trees on the edge of the property line. The fire went to ground and burned only the pine needles in the treated area. The message is that fuels treatment actually WORKS!