Shaver West Fuelbreak
The 551 acre Shaver West Fuel Break project is located in Eastern Fresno County, centrally located in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 High Hazard Zones. The shaded fuel break travels approximately 6 miles in length and treats vegetation directly adjacent to roads, creating a 400 foot gap in fuel continuity while providing road access to fire suppression resources. The Fire Prevention Grant is funded with Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds appropriated by the California Legislature to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), who is responsible to administer the funds allocated from California Climate Investments (CCI) Program.
This fuelbreak has been in place for many years. It is a joint venture of the Fire Safe Council, Cal Fire, USFS and local homeowners. The fuel break extends from Auberry Road across the front of Bald Mountain, then reaches Highway 168 before resuming on the south side. The break then runs south and ends near the 3,500-foot elevation marker. The purpose of the project is to provide a defensible space for suppression forces to take a stand in the event of wildfire, and to protect the natural resources, including wildlife habitat and endangered plant species in the Beal Fuel Break area. Future needs for the Beal Fire Road include placement of cement water tanks at strategic points along the road for fire suppression use, and more education provided to the residents living in the fuel break area. This fuel break has proven its sustainability during wildland fires and is a priority to the council and local agencies.
The Fire Safe Council, recognizing the potential danger along the Sugarloaf/Acorn Road in the Pine Ridge priority area at about the 4200 foot elevation, added this Road to their CWPP as an area that needs to be addressed. People living on this road travel off the hill to either Clovis or Fresno to work some 40 miles away. The area has a southwesterly aspect and can reach temperatures of 90-plus degrees in the summer months. There are approximately 25 homes and one 100-acre conservancy sitting in the dense fuel mixture of conifers and brush. The fuel is continuous and thick with few natural barriers. This project is designed to connect to the Cressman Road and Vincent fuelbreaks. It will help defend both subdivisions of Wildflower and Sierra Cedars.
Education & Outreach
The council is keenly aware of the importance of promoting fire safety in the Hwy. 168 corridor of the Fresno County foothills. By living in the Hwy. 168 planning area, members understand the relevant issues and threats and can speak neighbor-to-neighbor and to landowners when seeking landowner agreements and promoting local fuel reduction projects.The Hwy. 168 FSC has continued to provide the community with numerous educational opportunities to become informed of fire prevention and evacuation strategies, the prepping of residences and surrounding landscapes to minimize wildfire losses (meeting Cal Fire requirements), fire incidents, emergencies, and Hwy. 168 FSC projects through various means. Many of these are annual, demonstrating an ongoing education and outreach approach. Some of these include:
• Bi-monthly Hwy. 168 meetings, including quarterly public lecture meetings
• Mailings and other means to reach out to community members
• Postings on the Hwy. 168 web site
• Information booths and talks at community events
• Postings on local bulletin boards and post offices
Powerhouse Road Fuels Reduction Project
Burrough Valley Area/Tollhouse Fuels Reduction Project
Wildflower/Ridge Top/Granite Ridge/Bretz Mill Defensible Space Project
Springs Road/Tollhouse Area Fuels Reduction Project
Senior & Disabled Residents
Many of Hwy. 168’s mountain residents moved to their homes over the past several decades when rules for clearing were not in place or did not have the extensive guidelines that are now in place. At this time, many of these residents do not have the finances or physical abilities to keep their 100-foot clearance up to required specifications. The Fire Safe Council will continue to assist these residents as funding allows in their effort to maintain their defensible space. Future grants and other outside funding sources for this critical objective are being considered at this time.
Home Address Signs
Home addressing is a project that the Highway 168 Fire Safe Council has become involved with because of ongoing problems in our foothill and mountain communities. Inadequate signage has resulted in difficulties for emergency responders when attempting to find the homes of those who call 911 for help.
The signs are 6 x 24-inch metal with green vinyl covering displaying four-inch white lettering. The lettering is reflective and weather proof. They are sold for $25.00. A grant or some other outside funding is being sought to help offset the cost to homeowners/landowners.
We currently have grant funds available for Creek Fire impacted properties.