Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Wheeler Crest Fuels Reduction, 2015/2016
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Objective 1. Enhance fuel breaks along existing roads within the community of Swall Meadows. Shrubs will be removed using a mechanical "plucker" (brush grubber) to minimize ground disturbance and erosion potential. This is a relatively small "skid steer" machine with low ground impact. Where terrain limits machine access, and off existing roads, unwanted shrubs will be hand-thinned using chainsaws. The fuel breaks will be "feathered" by removing unwanted vegetation in progressively less aggressive increments (ca. 15ft) with increasing distance from the road edge. Small conifers (Jeffrey and pinyon pines, juniper) will only be removed where close spacing leads to an unacceptable risk of fire-spread. Where appropriate, taller trees will be limbed to minimize potential for ladder. Fuel break widths will range from approximately 15 ft, on each side of the residential roads, up to 60 ft on each side of the main roads which provide critical corridor access to the community.
Objective 2. Assist homeowners in ongoing fuel-reduction efforts.
By providing pick up service at the street, the project will assist up to approximately 125 residents in the removal of excess vegetation (living, dead, dying), emphasizing the importance of meeting CAL FIRE requirements for fully defensible space (to 100 ft) around all habitable structures. Each lot has an average area of approximately .8 acres.
Project size is approximtaely 150 acres. All material will be hauled to the Benton Crossing Landfill in Mono County.
This project removes brush (high desert sage type with scattered pinyon trees) from relatively narrow fuel breaks along existing roads. In addition, the project will encourage home owners to increase clearing to State standards around their homes by removing brush and slash that the home owners will stack at the edge of their property for removal by the project contractor.