Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Fireground Access Road and Waterline Improvement
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is planning fireground improvement activities at the CAL FIRE Training Center in Ione. Currently there are two unpaved roads that border the firegrounds to the north that are separated by a man-made drainage ditch. Due to their narrow width, these roads only allow one-way fire engine traffic. This project proposes to install a culvert pipe and fill in the drainage ditch, and then pave over the filled ditch. The drainage ditch is a 540-foot long, average 20-foot wide man-made linear channel that is bounded by 36" diameter culverts on both the uphill and downhill ends. After culvert installation, the ditch will be filled with approximately 100 cubic yards of material from existing spoil piles at the Training Center. Vegetation in the ditch consists of annual grasses, herbaceous native and non-native species, and one non-native red pine. The red pine will be removed during the project.
Within the firegrounds training area are numerous hydrants that are used for drills and exams with fire engines. The current waterline system that feeds the hydrants is a dead-end line coming off the main, which results in pressure loss at some hydrants when others on the line are opened, and water hammer through the line after hydrants are closed. Continuous pressure is necessary throughout the system in order to provide an equitable training and testing environment to multiple students at one time. This project proposes to install additional waterline around half of Main Street in order to connect the water system as a circular loop, which will prevent both pressure loss and water hammer throughout the system. A short spur will come off the main circular waterline for a distance of approximately 100 feet and will cross the man made drainage ditch described above.
This project fits the description for a Class 4; Section 15304: minor alterations to land. Field review by CAL FIRE staff confirmed that no exceptions apply which would preclude the use of a NOE for this project. The project consists of installation of a culvert in an existing open drainage ditch, filling and paving over the ditch, and installation of additional waterline to an existing system to create a loop system. The activities will not result in the taking of endangered, rare, or threatened plant or animal species, or sedimentation to surface waters.