CalFIRE Fuel Mitigation Grant Project
Funding for this project is provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Fire Prevention Program as part of the California Climate Investments Program.
The Yorba Linda Fuel Reduction Project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment -- particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website.
The City of Yorba Linda will be implementing an integrated fuel reduction project in seven strategic sites to reduce the risk of wildfire to State Responsibility Areas (SRA). The integrated project includes goat grazing, hand crews, and mechanical abatement depending on slope, accessibility, and density. Work also involves developing an Emergency Operation Plan, including the creation of wildfire Evacuation Zones, developing a Restoration and Sustainability Plan, and conducting wildfire prevention education and messaging. An estimated 78 acres based on surface area will be treated over the approximately 3-4 year project life.
The project focuses on reducing State Responsibility Area (SRA) exposure and risk to wildfires resulting from potential residential, roadside, and railroad ignitions, which may ignite fine fuels and start fires that are exacerbated by the Santa Ana winds and drought conditions experienced in Southern California. Southern California wildfires, such as the recent Blue Ridge fire in 2020 and the Freeway Complex Fire in 2008, routinely gain powerful energy from the Santa Ana winds and dry vegetation allowing fires to move quickly, jump freeways, communities, and canyons.
The primary goal of the project is to mitigate the risk of approximately 78 acres of wildfire-prone vegetation adjacent to SRA lands and 296 homes. Contractors will use a combination of machinery, manual labor, and goats to complete the vegetation management tasks associated with the project. The Orange County Fire Authority has provided significant input and advice on how to best implement an integrated mitigation project, and they have committed to assisting during project implementation by providing additional guidance and direction. Some of the most important elements for our project areas include the removal and thinning of dead or dying vegetation, flashy fuels, non-native trees, shrubs, and underbrush. These mitigation efforts can also help support the possible regrowth of native vegetation. Included in the project is the thinning and/or separation of native plant material, including the vertical and horizontal separation between groupings of shrubs. Topography and lack of access are two of the reasons for invasive, non-native overgrowth on steep slopes requiring an integrated management plan and resources that this grant will help fund.
Project Performance Period
The project performance period is until March 15, 2025, with a possible additional year pending available funds and CalFire approval. Under the terms and conditions of this Grant Agreement, the applicant agrees to complete the project as described in the project description, and the State of California, acting through the Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, agrees to fund the project up to the total state grant amount indicated.
Site Maps (as of November 6, 2023)
Site 1: Goat grazing has been used in Site 1B to treat the flashy fuels and understory of the scrub and brush at the base of the slope(s). Sites 1A phase 1 has had first round of grasses removed and shrub vegetation thinning occur. Additional cleanup to occur. SIte 1C 100 ft. from structure completed. Phase 2 boundary lines will be staked the week of November 6, with additional clearing anticipated to start the week of November 16.
Site 2: Non-native trees have been felled from the upper section (north of Brush Canyon Drive). Now that nesting season is complete the piles of felled trees, remaining stumps and excess chipped materials will be removed the week of November 6, 2023. Grasses have been mowed in the lower section (south of Brush Canyon Drive).
Site 3: Vegetation thinning and grass removals anticipated to begin winter of 2023.
Sites 4: Removal of weeds and grasses within 100 ft. of defensible space have been completed. Phase 2 additional vegetation removal and shrub thinning to occur fall/winter 2023.
SIte 5: Phase 1 was completed in spring 2022. Phase 2 currently in process with moving of flashy fuels and trimming of the shrubs and trees for spacing needs to take place throughout the area.
Sites 6: Weeds and grass removals within the 100 ft. defensible space areas have been completed. Now that nesting season is complete Phase 2 is anticipated to occur the week of November 13 with
Site 7: Phase 1 removal of grass vegetation has been completed and some shrub vegetation thinning have occurred. Phase 2, additional trimming of the trees and shrubs along the fence lines to take place fall/winter 2023.
For more information, please contact YLFuelReduction@yorbalindaca.gov.