Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Tierra Del Sol Fuel Break
NOE - Notice of Exemption
The project will establish and maintain a north-south fuel break along the southern portion of the Tecate Divide near the communities of Live Oak Springs to the west and Blvd to the east. This fuel break will be approx 100 ft wide on both sides of Tierra Del Sol Rd for a total width of approx 200 ft, beginning at the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad on the south of Hwy 94 on the north for a total length of approx 3.5 mi and will result in the treatment of approx 89 acres.
Treatment will include reducing the existing fuel loading of mixed chaparral vegetation by approx 80%. Native vegetation targeted for removal will include: chamise, red shank, CA buckwheat, and big basin sage brush that commonly occur within the project area. Broadlead species present within the project include manzanita, ceanothus, silk tassel, sumac, and scrub oak. These broad leaf species will be retained to present a mosaic effect but may be thinned where necessary to obtain 80% reduction target. Pencil Cholla, Spanish bayonet, Ephedra and annual grasses and forbs will be left untreated. Shrub vegetation will be cut at ground level and root structures left in place to reduce the potential for erosion. The project work will be implemented by hand crews using manual methods: cutting, trimming, and pruning with chain saws and hand tools and with no removal of root structures. Depending on the time of year and availability of hand crews and engine crews, the cut material will be piled and burned during the winter months of chipped and spread on-site, not to exceed three inches in depth.
This project is consistent with portions of class 4 Categorical Exemption pertaining to minor alterations to land as identified in the CEQA Guidelines. Field review by CAL FIRE staff confirmed that no exceptions apply which would preclude the use of a Notice of Exemption for this project. CAL FIRE has concluded that no significant environmental impact would occur to aesthetics, agriculture and forestland/timberland, air quality, biological resources, geology and soils, greenhouse gas emissions, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, land use planning, mineral resources, noise, population and housing, public services, recreation, transportation/traffic, or to utilities and service systems. Documentation of the environmental review completed by the Dept is retained on file at CAL FIRE MVU HQ in El Cajon.