Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Murphys Fuel Break
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The proposed shaded fuel break project is located near the town of Murphys in Calaveras County. The project crosses many small land ownerships. The proposed fuel break is located on a strategic ridge top area and control lines were constructed on the ridge for the Butte Fire in 2015, and the Old Gulch Fire in the 1990s. The project area is approx 380 acres in size. The proposed shaded fuel break will be approx 3.8 miles in length. The fuel break will vary in width, but will be at least 300 ft wide. The project area would best be described as oak woodland. Interior live oak is the primary species present, with scattered CA gray pine and Ponderosa pine. Portions of the proposed fuel break contain dense stands of manzanita. The proposed project will be to construct a shaded fuel break along the strategic ridge top resulting in an open and park like condition. Surface and ladder fuels will be reduced by mastication, or hand crews cutting, piling and burning, or chipping brush and trees less than 12-inches diameter at breast height. Residual trees will be spaced to approx 10 ft between live crowns. Residual trees will be pruned up approx 8 ft. Dead trees of any size that pose a safety or fire hazard may be removed. Burning will be conducted during the winter and spring and in compliance with a burn permit from the Calaveras Air Pollution Control District.
The Class of Exemption to be used is 14 CCR 15304 - Minor alterations to land. The project consists of constructing a shaded fuel break. A query of the CNDDB and field surveys did not reveal the presence of any sensitive species. Protection measures for watercourses are consistent with the CA Forest Practice Rules. The project design avoids impacts to archaeological resources.