Arnold, CA…Residents and property owners from Murphys to Camp Connell are invited to a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event May 6 to learn about what’s being done to prevent catastrophic fire inside their Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) surrounded by national, state and private forests – and what they can do.
The event, from 9:30-1:30 at Independence Hall in Arnold, features wildfire prevention-savvy speakers, experts and exhibits. Kids will be able to explore the new Ebbetts Pass Fire District‘s all-terrain fire & rescue vehicle and greet vegetation-eating goats from Motherlode Goats, which rents goats to clear and maintain land, including defensible space and fuel breaks.
“Fuels reduction to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire is everyone’s responsibility,” said Ebbetts Pass District Fire Chief Mike Johnson, who spearheaded the event. “Folks will learn about what they can do, from wildfire-resistant landscaping to how their neighborhood can be recognized as a ‘Firewise Community’, which can reduce insurance costs.”
Attendees can also pick up an application for the Calaveras Foothills Fire Safe Council’s new Door-to-Door Chipper Program – available while funds last.
· New CAL FIRE Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit Battalion Chief Dennis Lange
· Ebbetts Pass Fire District Chief Mike Johnson
· District 3 Supervisor Martin Huberty, representing Murphys to Camp Connell
· State Parks Central Valley District Natural Resources Manager Heather Reith
· Calaveras-Amador (CalAm) Forestry Team’s Pat McGreevy, retired Calaveras resident.
Since the devastating 2015 Butte Fire, McGreevy and his all-volunteer team have written and implemented $20 million in fuels reduction grants received from CAL FIRE, the US Forest Service, Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) and PG&E.
McGreevy will present a detailed, color map he created of the “Highway 4 Wildfire Defense System” – continuous shaded fuel breaks on strategic ridges on the Wildland-Urban Interface over 20 miles between Murphys and Camp Connell. The goal of the strategic defense system is to protect 8500 structures on the Highway 4 Corridor from catastrophic fire, and it will maximize the success of first responders, providing anchors to launch their wildfire defense.
The Highway 4 Wildfire Defense System is a collaboration between the CalAm Forestry Team, Ebbetts Pass Fire District, CAL FIRE and Firewise Communities. Seven of the 13 homeowners associations on the Corridor are Firewise sites in good standing as of February. The Firewise USA recognition program provides a framework to help neighbors work collaboratively to create ignition-resistant communities, reducing their shared wildfire risk (www.readyfor wildfire.org).
In March the CalAm Team wrote a grant application on behalf of the Calaveras Office of Emergency Services and the US Forest Service. They were awarded $2.1 million from the SNC for a fuel break to protect communities from Arnold to Dorrington from wildfires originating in the North Fork Stanislaus River canyon. The McKays Strategic Fuel Break project will reduce hazardous fire fuels on nearly 1,000 acres of mixed coniferous forest on US Forest Service land.
Booths, Exhibits & Experts:
· Mother Lode Prescribed Burn Association will explain how they teach property owners to use fire as a land management tool—giving them the tools, training and resources to conduct burns on their own property.
· Ebbetts Pass Fire District will show off its new all-terrain fire & rescue vehicle.
· CAL FIRE will have information on home hardening, wildfire-resistant landscaping and evacuation planning.
· Stanislaus National Forest, Calaveras Ranger District works to create a healthy forest on both sides of the Highway 4 corridor from below Avery to Bear Valley.
· Calaveras Big Trees Association (CBTA) advocates to protect the Park’s giant sequoias from catastrophic fire. Believing the Park in “dire condition”, it has urged the state to urgently increase the pace and scale of work and expand its methods to reduce the massive buildup of fuels.
· Motherlode Goats offers targeted goat grazing services to property owners, businesses and land management agencies to clear and maintain land.
· Calaveras County Water District provides vital support during a wildfire by operating 1100 fire hydrants. Learn about the CalAm Forestry Team’s recent grant to do fuels reduction work that will protect its plant that provides water service to more than 6,000 customers who live along the upper Highway 4 Corridor.
· Calaveras Foothills Fire Safe Council will have copies of applications for its free Door-t0-Door Chipper Program. Contractors chip piled up vegetation less than 8″ in diameter and no shorter than 3′. https://www.calaverasfiresafecouncil.org/Documents/Chipper%20Form.pdf
· Wildfire Safety Solutions will offer color copies of the new Hwy 4 Wildfire Defense System map created by the CalAm Forestry Team, and information on home hardening.
· Defensible Space Clearing will exhibit a masticator & evacuator.
· Arnold Rim Trail Association will explain opportunities to serve as a docent or trail crew member for its two dozen miles of hiking trails in the Stanislaus National Forest.
· Cal-Waste Recovery Systems will offer a free lunch to all!
The event is sponsored by Ebbetts Pass Fire District and supported with donations from: Ebbetts Pass Property Owners Council, Calaveras Big Trees Association, Defensible Space Clearing of Murphys, Wildfire Safety Solutions, Cal-Waste Recovery Systems, Gold Country Roasters of Murphys, Arnold Discount Market and High Sierra Framing & Gallery in Arnold, and ThePineTree.Net.
For questions, call Laura Baughman, Board member, Ebbetts Pass Property Owners Council: 650-588-8620
WILDFIRE COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS DAY
For Murphys to Camp Connell Communities
When: Saturday, May 6, 2023, 9:30 am-1:30 pm
Where: Independence Hall, 1445 Blagen Road, Arnold
Why: Wildfire is Coming … ARE YOU READY?
Features: Wildfire prevention-savvy speakers, experts & exhibitors, new color map of the
Highway 4 Wildfire Defense System of fuel breaks, info on the free Door-to-Door
Chipper Program, the latest on CAL FIRE ‘s Defensible Space Zones,
grazing Motherlode goats, Ebbetts Pass Fire District’s new all-terrain fire &
rescue vehicle, a fire truck, a forest masticator – & a free Lunch!
MURPHYS TO CAMP CONNELL RESIDENTS & HOMEOWNERS INVITED TO WILDFIRE COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS EVENT IN ARNOLD, SATURDAY, MAY 6