The multi-year project schedule for this project is July 2023 and expiring on June 30, 2024. The projects funding mechanism is from a 2021 Measure U voter property tax initiative and hard match costs. The project has a focus on various methods of forest fuels reduction designed to enhance identified evacuation routes, protect structures and infrastructure. This is a priority from the updated 2022 Northstar Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Below are key components to the project:
1. To perform forest fuels reduction along major evacuation routes, structure and infrastructure protection to the Community of Northstar. The project areas exist on privately owned; open common space forested lands next to evacuation routes, residential/commercial structures and infrastructure. The project areas are part of Priorities Number One, Three and Six in the Updated 2022 Northstar Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
2. To remove dead, diseased, dying and pest infected trees that identify as a fire hazard and or are detrimental to forest health (Priority Three).
3. The funding for forest fuels reduction for evacuation routes and forest fuels buffer work exists exclusively within the Northstar Community Services District Boundary. The project will cover 82.1-acres of land.
4. This project exists within a State Regulatory Area (SRA), CAL FIRE named Very High Fire Severity Zone. The project areas hold over-stocked conifer tree stands, declining conifer trees, vegetation health that is a result of multiple years of drought and correcting one hundred plus years of historical timber harvesting practices which altered the forests of the Martis Creek Watershed. Currently, forest fuels reduction work within the project areas requires a combination of first entry, multiple year work and periodic maintenance treatment. The goal is to reduce forest fuels within areas that are readily able to burn hot and travel at an accelerated rate across the topography and affect a safe community wide evacuation and supply structure and infrastructure protection. A secondary issue is addressing the removal of dead, diseased, dying and pest infected trees will help reduce the acceleration of tree mortality before reaching an epidemic level.