Repair Damage from Dixie Fire – Director’s Order


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Transportation, District 2 (DOT)
Document Title
Repair Damage from Dixie Fire – Director’s Order
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The Dixie Fire has burned over 960,000 acres and has destroyed homes, caused the evacuation of residents, and damaged critical infrastructure in five counties in northern California. On July 23, 2021, Governor Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to exist in Plumas, Butte, and Lassen counties due to the Dixie Fire. On August 10, 2021, Governor Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to exist in Tehama County due to the Dixie Fire. As a result of the Dixie Fire, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), using state funding and federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA), conducted emergency repairs within Caltrans’ right-of-way on State Route (SR) 395 in Lassen County from post mile (PM) 21 to 51. The emergency work removed rocks and spoil piles from the roadway, removed hazard trees, grinded tree stumps within the clear recovery zone (CRZ), replaced burned metal-beam guardrail and end treatments, replaced other burned items (e.g., signs, delineators, and fencing), repaired/replaced damaged drainage infrastructure, made debris and flood control protection improvements, repaired a damaged corrugated metal retaining wall at post mile 50.23, repaired damaged roadway and re-striped/re-marked the roadway as needed, placed erosion controls, and slope stabilization, and provided traffic control. Drainage Facilities The emergency work included drainage facilities work as described below in Table 1. (Table 1 omitted) Staging/Stockpiling Staging occurred at various existing turnouts and other suitable locations inside Caltrans’ right-of-way within the project limits. In addition, staging/stockpiling stations for cut trees and chipping operations were located at the following locations: • SR 395 in Lassen County at PM 46.8 just south of Desert Pine Trail (inside Caltrans’ right-of-way). • SR 395 in Lassen County at PM 49.8 on both sides of the commercial brake check/DOT inspection area (inside Caltrans’ right-of-way). Disposal/Borrow Sites No borrow or disposal sites were utilized. Utilities Overhead and underground utilities are present at various locations inside Caltrans’ right-of-way within the project limits. The emergency work did not add new utilities or repair existing Caltrans-owned utilities within the project limits. Right-of-Way Most of the emergency work was conducted inside Caltrans’ existing right-of-way. Drainage facilities work at PM 50.23 occurred outside Caltrans’ right-of-way on private property. The emergency work did not require the permanent acquisition of right-of-way. No federal land is present within or adjacent to the project limits. Permits The project limits were evaluated for jurisdictional features subject to permit requirements of the California Department of Fish and Game Code, section 1602 and Clean Water Act sections 401 and 404. The contractor-supplied biologist completed an ordinary high water mark delineation for the proposed drainages. It was determined the drainages at PM 46.51 and PM 50.23 were jurisdictional under regulatory agencies. The work proposed at these locations were for maintenance activities and erosion control. These activities did not have a substantial impact on the bed, bank or channel and no additional fill material was placed below the OHWM. No regulatory permits from California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, or the US Army Corp of Engineers were needed for the emergency activities. Consultation/Coordination Caltrans has notified various federal and state regulatory agencies about the emergency work that was conducted. Additional coordination with federal and state agencies may be required for the emergency work.

Contact Information

Darrin Doyle
Agency Name
Caltrans District 2
Job Title
Associate Environmental Planner
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Northern California
Other Location Info
The project is located on State Route 395 in Lassen County from post mile 21 to 51.

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Statutory Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Section 15269 (Emergency Projects)
Reasons for Exemption
The California Department of Transportation has determined the project to be statutorily exempt in accordance with Section 15269 (Emergency Projects) - (d) Projects undertaken, carried out, or approved by a public agency to maintain, repair, or restore an existing highway damaged by fire, flood, storm, earthquake, land subsidence, gradual earth movement, or landslide, provided that the project is within the existing right of way of that highway and is initiated within one year of the damage occurring. The project had no significant effect on the environment.


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