Butte County Defensible Space and Hazardous Fuels Program (CEQA24-0001)


SCH Number
Public Agency
Butte County
Document Title
Butte County Defensible Space and Hazardous Fuels Program (CEQA24-0001)
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
he scope of the program is to reduce future fires’ rate of spread, intensity, and hazard to homes and infrastructure. The program will accomplish this by creating defensible space and hazardous tree removal. Work will be done in any of the 25 Butte County WUI communities, with the exception of the Town of Paradise (which has received its own Hazard Mitigation grant funding), because all Butte County WUI communities are equally at risk and in need of mitigation. Homesites are eligible for the program if they are within the “Moderate to very high-risk zone” (as defined by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) of the WUI area and also within 500’ of a main evacuation route. The program will progress in two phases: Phase 1 includes assembling the team, conducting community outreach, identifying qualifying properties, obtaining Right-of-Entry forms from landowners as they voluntarily join the project, performing defensible space assessments, identifying hazardous trees, and completing the Benefit-Cost Analysis. Phase one will also involve environmental review and clearance. Phase 2 will include the implementation of the project on the qualifying and approved properties. Implementation includes defensible space clearance and removal of dead and dying hazardous trees.

Contact Information

Agency Name
Butte County Development Services
Job Title
Senior Planner
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Other Location Info

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Reasons for Exemption
The project is classified as a Class 4 Categorical Exemption, under CEQA Guidelines Section 15304 Minor Alterations to Land. The project is a hazardous fuel management program activity that consists of minor treatments to vegetation in the form of hand-cutting, piling, and onsite chipping of brush, small trees within 100 feet of existing structures for the creation of defensible space, and removal of standing or downed dead and dying trees (10 inches in diameter and larger) that are determined to be a fire hazard by a certified arborist or registered professional forester. The program contains procedures to ensure that fuel reduction activities do not result in the taking of endangered, rare, or threatened plant or animal species, or sedimentation to surface waters. No vegetation removal would be performed near any wetlands, ponds, or rivers. A Registered Professional Forester would identify and establish a minimum 25-foot to 150-foot buffer around these resources, dependent upon stream class and slope, as recommended by the NMFS for the State Hazard Tree Removal Program (NMFS 2022).
County Clerk


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