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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 389

Fire reduction projects to help local economy

The Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office has completed the first in a number of projects to reduce fire danger while helping the Calaveras County economy.
“We were able to turn it around from no project to project done within four months,” said Bill Haigh, Mother Lode Field Office manager. (text continues below)

Crews operate a wood chipper to reduce fire danger
A crew operates a wood chipper to reduce fire hazards

In December, Calaveras County and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy scheduled the first meeting of the Calaveras Consensus Group to discuss ways to help the economy in central Calaveras County.  Other participants in the process have included the Forest Service, CalFire, Natural Resources Conservation Service, local fire departments, citizen groups, local businesses, and the California Department of Fish and Game.

One of the topics for discussion at the meetings has been reducing fuels to reduce fire danger, including fuels on BLM land, Haigh said. BLM, in cooperation with local fire departments and the fire safe council, planned a four-acre project near the town of West Point as part of BLM’s regular fuels treatment program.

“Local contractors were used to complete the fuel reduction work,” said Brian Mulhollen, fuels management specialist in the Mother Lode Field Office.

A rubber-tracked chipper was used to chip material that had been cut by hand. “This was part a larger program of work we’re planning for Calaveras County in the near future,” Mulhollen said.

- Dave Christy, BLM, 6/29/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 389

Last updated: 07-01-2009