Local news- Press Release
Nevada County California - Nevada County Awarded Funding for Woodpecker Ravine Shaded Fuel Break 03 June 2022 ( news )
Nevada County , state California ( By Press Release office)
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In the face of above - normal fire potential and what has been identified as “acute and flammable fuel anomalies” across the Tahoe National Forest following the December 2021 winter storm , Nevada County was excited to learn this week that funding has been approved for the Woodpecker Ravine Shaded Fuel Break project . The $2 . 1 million award from CAL FIRE’s Wildfire Prevention grants program will support much - needed selective thinning in an area directly above the River Fire burn scar and flanked by two critical evacuation corridors – State Highway 49 to the east and State Highway 174 to the north .
Woodpecker Ravine is one of several shaded fuel breaks that have been identified by CAL FIRE and local fire leadership as a priority for Western Nevada County . Roughly bounded by Rattlesnake , Lower Colfax , and Mount Olive Roads , the area has numerous homes located in the wildland urban interface ( WUI ) . Furthermore , the ecology and topography of the project area , notably its steep drainage and dense vegetation , make it a key location for fuels treatment . Not only will the project provide protection to the over 700 homes in the treatment zone , but it will create a location where wildfire could be stopped before progressing toward Empire Mine State Historic Park and downtown Grass Valley .
“We are very excited to have an additional shaded fuel break in our community . This project is very close to the River Fire burn scar and will provide an added measure of security to Grass Valley and Alta Sierra residents , ” said Nevada County District II Supervisor Ed Scofield .
The project will include necessary environmental permitting in addition to on - the - ground vegetation thinning comprised of hand - cut and chip and mastication . 410 acres have been identified as the priority treatment area while an additional 176 acres will be treated if time and funds permit . The Woodpecker Ravine project will focus on primary and secondary evacuation routes in the area , in addition to select strategic ridgelines in order to tie road system arteries into a wildfire defense zone .
Ideally , the shaded fuel break will be just one aspect of a multifaceted project focused on Woodpecker Ravine that will serve as a regional model for wildfire resilience . Last year , the County of Nevada applied for a $43 million grant through FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities ( BRIC ) program that includes defensible space treatments , home hardening , and education in addition to the shaded fuel break .
“We are grateful to CAL FIRE for their continued support of these important projects , ” said Office of Emergency Services Program Manager Paul Cummings . “Vegetation abatement is an important tool in our kit , but it requires ongoing maintenance to be effective . We continue to see a need for long - term sustainable funding to address the critical needs in our community . ”
The announcement of funds for Woodpecker Ravine comes close on the heels of recent news that 600 acres of the Ponderosa West Grass Valley Defense Zone Phase 2 project will receive treatment via Congressionally Designated funds . Phase 1 of the Ponderosa Project , funded by CAL FIRE , wrapped up in March of this year . An additional key fuel break project funded by CAL FIRE , the South County Shaded Fuel Break near Alta Sierra , will be ramping up in the coming months .
“We would like to thank CAL FIRE for funding this strategically important fuel break and we look forward to collaborating with residents to make these neighborhoods more fire safe , ” says District I Supervisor Heidi Hall .
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