Foresthill / Iowa Hill
Fire Safe Council
24320 Main Street Foresthill, CA
Director: Gary Kirk
The Fire Safe Council meets on the third Tuesday of every month
at the Foresthill Fire District Admin Bldg
24320 Main Street
Expanded Views and Fire Safety Enhancements through Fuel Reduction Programs
Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 3:47 PM PST Foresthill Messenger
The projects not only enhances fire safety it also enhances the wonderful views of the Middle Fork canyon and beyond. Various Grants and Funding Help to Keep Foresthill Safe.
If you have driven up or down Foresthill Road in the area of Worton’s Market and Foresthill High School over the past month you would have noticed a clearer view looking south over the Middle Fork Canyon. You may have even witnessed some of the clearing work being performed on that east side of the road, and wondered just what was going on.
Were those Volcano Creek Enterprises masticators and hand crews preparing for some kind of development, or was it a fuels reduction project. If you figured it to be the latter you would have been correct.
The most visible parts of the clearing project, that spanned the area from Worton’s to just east of Baltimore Mine Road, was dubbed the ‘Baltimore Mine II’ project and was completed using both private and grant funds arranged and managed by the Iowa Hill Community Club (aka: Foresthill/Iowa Hill Fire Safe Council - or FSC). According to grant documents ‘Middle Fork Project’ funds covered $45,000 of the project with the balance of just over $67,000 being “In Kind” dollars from Property Owners, NRCS grant funds and BLM grant funds.
Luana Dowling, who is a Director for the FSC and oversees grant writing for Placer County to complete such fuels reduction efforts, said all of the ground work has been completed on the project. This includes mechanical mastication with heavy equipment as well hand crew work for vegetation removal and chipping of removed products as well as completion of CEQA documents, project management and oversight of the project, and grant administration.
Approximately 35 acres received treatment on this portion, and it is estimated that 75% of the fuel loading has been reduced in the project area. The project was completed over a 60 day period with the weather providing pretty much ideal conditions for the work to be performed. This project enabled a contiguous application of the Pipeline I Shaded Fuel Break that was applied to adjacent Private Lands funded by a grant from the California Firesafe Council Clearinghouse with BLM funds and the Pipeline II Shaded Fuel Break funded by a grant from PG&E who was mandated by the PUC, due to the drought, to address areas where they have power lines. Some additional benefits from PG&E Grants, according to Dowling, were two new chippers for the County Chipping Program as well as some funding to the Seniors Defensible Space Program.
This project is a continuation of several strategically placed Shaded Fuel Breaks on the Divide and brings much value to the community in fire protection, watershed enhancement, and cultural preservation. This project brought in a new stakeholder element (the County of Placer through the Middle Fork Project Fuel Reduction Management Funding Program) to what has been an ongoing effort for some time. This now brings a collaboration of the following agencies committed to these Shaded Fuel Breaks: Foresthill/Iowa Hill Fire Safe Council, Cal Fire, Foresthill Fire Protection District, USFS American River Ranger District, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Pacific Gas and Electric, County of Placer and Placer County Water Agency.
This project is just one of many more that are planned and already in the works for the Foresthill Divide. Some other area’s that also fall under the Baltimore Mine and Pipeline projects are area’s behind the Foresthill Divide School and USFS office on Foresthill Road as well as along the canyon in back of the Robinson Corp. owned properties. Continuation of efforts by the Monte Verde Homeowners and the efforts by CDF after the Applegate Fire last summer also feed into these strategic efforts as do previous projects by the FSC.
There are many ways in which individual landowners can take advantage of programs to help reduce the dangers of too much overgrowth or fire fuels on their properties. Depending on the size and location of your property you might be eligible for some assistance via grants. At the very least you can contact the Fire Safe Council for help figuring that out.
For those in more densely populated areas such as the Todd Valley Estates area and other planned developments there is a program called “Firewise Communities” that works well to bring resources to the table when organized neighbors come together to address the issues of fire prevention. Participation in that program, a project of the National Fire Protection Association, could result in a reduction in insurance premiums or at least a favorable consideration from insurance carriers. As many in our community know procuring or even keeping fire insurance in our area can be a challenge. For more information you can visit firewise.org.
For information on how to activate a community effort in your neighborhood, to have your property evaluated for its fire safe condition, or for any other information on the many programs available you can contact Luana Dowling at 530-367-6159.
Todd's Valley Area Evacuation Signs
The Foresthill / Iowa Hill Fire Safe Council would like to introduce the residents of the Todd's Valley area, to our new EVACUATION SIGNS. These signs are posted on strategic STOP sign posts. The signs are blue with a white reflective "E" and directional arrow. These signs are to assist you with evacuation to specific shelter sites during an emergency. We ask that you take the time to acquaint yourself with these routes, and shelter locations. This will help you and Emergency Services during an emergency. In the event of an emergency, you will be informed of the evacuation site being utilized. Please follow these signs to the Designated Evacuation Shelter, unless you are directed differently by law enforcement. These signs are to assist in making the community Fire Safe.
Designated Evacuation Shelters:
Latter Day Saints Church,
20895 Todd Valley Rd.
Calvary Bible Church, 20801 Todd Valley Rd.
Foresthill Divide Middle School, 22888 Foresthill Rd.
Canyon View Assembly of God Church, 23221 Foresthill Rd.
Foresthill High School, 23319 Foresthill Rd.
The Carpenter's Place/ Mill site, 5845 Sunset Dr.
Veterans Memorial Hall, 24601 Harrison St.
Foresthill Elementary School, 24770 Foresthill Rd.
Free Fire Safe Advisory Inspections
Contact the Foresthill/Iowa Hill Fire Safe Council for a free fire
safe advisory inspection of your home.
If you would like to host a neighborhood coffee get together for learning about fire safety and preparing personal evacuation plans, contact the Fire Safe Council at 367-2465.