The Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District formed a “fuels crew” in the Spring of 2018 to perform vegetation management (wildfire “fuels”) using CAL FIRE grant funding. The crew is comprised of part time employees who are primarily volunteer fire fighters and forestry students. The crew operates chain saws and chippers to cut and chip vegetation. The initial work focused on reducing vegetation along private roads and helped stop the spread of the 2019 Kincade Fire along Coyote Ridge Road. Community donations, project sponsorships, and grants have provided funding to keep the fuel crew operational. The fuel crews has completed several fuel reduction projects in its short existence and has evolved into helping with burn piles and prescribed burns.
GEYSERVILLE ROADSIDE CLEARANCE GRANT COMPLETED AUGUST 2021
Northern Sonoma County Fire District “Fuels Crew”
Completes 42 Miles of Roadside Vegetation Management
The Northern Sonoma Fire Protection District (District) obtained a CAL FIRE California Climate Investments Fire Prevention Grant in 2018 to complete the Geyserville Roadside Clearance Project. The Project cut and chipped vegetation along roads to reduce vegetation on approximately 303 acres near Geyserville, Alexander Valley, and Dry Creek Valley. This Project also led to the creation of the District’s “Fuel Crew” which completed the Project.
The Fuels Crew vegetation management work prevented the November 2019 Kincade Fire from advancing across Coyote Ridge Road, reducing the fire threatening additional structures in northeast Geyserville, and supported evacuations and firefighter access during the August 2020 Walbridge Fire.
The District believes that a coordinated regional approach to vegetation management will reduce damages from future wildfires and support other land management options such as prescribed burning. The District has prioritized roadside vegetation management for shaded fuelbreaks to decrease the intensity of wildfires that start along a road, provide for evacuations, firefighter access, and to slow or stop an approaching wildfire. The Fuel Crew continues to work 7 days a week completing the vegetation management work funded by additional grants, donations, and contracts for service. The Fuels Crew is primarily composed of Santa Rosa Junior College students. Some members of the Fuels Crew have fire fighter training and this led to the formation of the “Geyser Crew #1” which helped extinguish the 2020 Walbridge Fire.
The Geyserville Roadside Clearance Project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to
invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.
Marshall Turbeville, Chief Northern Sonoma County Fire District,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: (707) 292-3754