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Early preps ahead of 2018 Fire Season

Butte Co. Fire Safe Council shows off fuel reduction projects ahead of 2018 Fire Season

Posted: Feb. 13, 2018 11:44 PM

The 2018 wildfire season is inching closer and it's never too early to start preparing.

Tuesday morning, the Butte County Fire Safe Council showcased one of their current fuel reduction projects around Lake Oroville.

DeAnda says, "This project is in a spot that's right next to homes, and the vegetation hadn't been thinned in at least 80 years. So what we're doing is we're reducing the potential for a catastrophic wildfire."

The mission of the Butte County Fire Safe Council is to prepare land for wildfires, while also restoring forest health.

Crews have been clearing overgrown trees and grasses from the Saddle Dam Recreation Area, which is classified as a "wildland-urban interface area" where neighborhoods sit up against native wildlands.

DeAnda says, "That's where we see the most devastating wildfires typically because either fire burned from the homes down into the wildland or from the wildlands up into the homes. It creates a fire that's really intense because there's so much heat behind it because of all the vegetation."

DeAnda says Winter is the best time to do this type of work because there's low risk of starting a fire.

Workers will focus on clearing out the low-lying vegetation while leaving a shady canopy over the forest floor.

DeAnda says, "What that does is help keep the brush that's always trying to compete, supressed because it needs light. So if it's in the shade, it's going to stay smaller and be easier to maintain it."

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