OROVILLE – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire Department have jointly launched two major fuel reduction projects designed to reduce wildfire risk, protect public safety and enhance forest health around Lake Oroville.
DWR’s Fuel Load Management Plan (FLMP) will thin overstocked trees and bushes that fuel and increase the intensity of wildfires. The thinning process improves forest health and helps maintain water quality. Larger timber and brush will be strung together and placed in Lake Oroville as habitat structures for fish and other wildlife.
The FLMP projects occur within the Oroville Facilities Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project boundary. The FLMP was developed in coordination with federal, state, and local fire and resources management agencies. Since the Plan’s launch in November 2012, approximately 480 acres within the FERC project boundary have been manually-thinned, re-thinned, and/or treated with prescribed burns. DWR’s goal is to treat an additional 500 acres over the next five years.
Most recently, CAL FIRE performed a successful prescribed burn at the Loafer Creek State Recreation Area on October 6-7, 2018 to strategically reduce future wildfire risk for a total of 105 acres in six separate locations. DWR, CA State Parks, Butte County Fire Department, California Conservation Corps (CCC), and CAL FIRE Valley View all contributed crews to help with the burn and mop-up efforts.
On November 13, DWR and the CCC began a thinning and chipping project at Bidwell Canyon State Recreation Area. Through Spring of 2019, crews will be working in a 9-acre area along the Dan Beebe Trail and Bidwell Canyon Trail.
Over the next few months, CAL FIRE Valley View crews will continue thinning and pile burning on a 55-acre plot near the recreation area’s Loafer Loop Trail. Another prescribed burn in fall of 2019 is planned. Depending on weather and crew availability, additional areas in the approximately 900+ acre target zone at Loafer Creek will also be treated this season.
DWR is actively working with Butte County Fire Safe Council (BCFSC) to identify new treatment areas, develop strategies to address safety and habitat concerns, and schedule crews to start treating new areas in 2019.
If you plan to visit the areas mentioned above, be cautious of work crews. Please check local social media pages for updates on each project. As areas are completed, new areas will be identified.
Liza Whitmore, Information Officer, Public Affairs, Department of Water Resources
(916) 213-5205 | Elizabeth.Whitmore@dot.ca.gov
Rick Carhart, Information Officer, CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire Department
(530) 531-7585 | Rick.Carhart@fire.ca.gov