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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 UPDATES (as of May 22, 2023)
Site 1: Goat grazing is being used to treat the flashy fuels and understory of the scrub and brush at the base of the slope(s). This will occur logistically in 3 phases, with each phase lasting about three weeks before moving on to the next area within Site 1. The grazing should last about nine weeks on this site. Our contractor, Sage Environmental, began treatment the week of May 15.
FOR GOAT CONCERNS, PLEASE CONTACT SAGE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP AT (949) 243-2282
Please do NOT disturb working goats and guardian dogs. Do NOT attempt to feed the dogs or goats. Do NOT put hands or body thorough or on or against the fence.
Site 2: Non-native trees have been removed from the upper section (north of Brush Canyon Drive). Phase 2 at this section will resume in fall of 2023 after bird nesting season has subsided. Grasses have been mowed in the lower section (south of Brush Canyon Drive).
Site 3: Vegetation thinning and grass removals anticipated to begin fall 2023.
Sites 4 and 5: Removal of weeds and grasses within 100 ft. of defensible space to be completed the weeks of May 15 and 22.
Sites 6: Weeds and grass removals within the 100 ft. defensible space areas, along with vegetation thinning will occur as soon bird nesting season has subsided.
Site 7: Phase 1 removal of grass vegetation has been completed.
Staff Report - June 7, 2022 (PDF)
Staff Report - December 20, 2022
View the upcoming March 30, 2023 Community Meeting (PDF)
View the November 16, 2022 Community Meeting Presentation (PDF)
For more information, please contact YLFuelReduction@yorbalindaca.gov.