CAL FIRE NEWS RELEASE California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit
Ice Cream Grade – Empire Grade Fuel ReductionFELTON – The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit, in cooperation with the City of Santa Cruz Water Department and several private property owners is nearing completion of the first phase of hazardous fuel reduction along Ice Cream Grade and Empire Grade Roads in the Bonny Doon area of northern Santa Cruz County.
Thick accumulations of brush and small diameter trees weakened after 5 years of extreme drought, were removed to lessen fire intensity and rate of spread in the event of a wildfire. This work was conducted on a mix of City Watershed lands and privately owned parcels and will improve emergency ingress/egress, help to protect homes in the area and improve our ability to defend the Laguna Creek watershed from a high intensity wildfire.
The Laguna Creek watershed is an important source of water for the City of Santa Cruz.
The project is being implemented under CAL FIRE’s Vegetation Management Program and was funded, in part, by the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fee. Additional work is planned to occur along each of the roadways as funding and crew availability allows.
The project is located near the 2008 Martin Fire which serves as a reminder of the damaging wildfires our area is prone to each fire season. CAL FIRE urges residents to take precautions now to make their homes more defendable by removing excessive underbrush and thinning trees before the onset of fire season.
The work completed along Ice Cream Grade and Empire Grade Roads is similar to what residents should strive for on their own property, especially near homes and along access routes such as driveways.
For more information about how you can protect your home and property from wildfire,
visit http://www.readyforwildfire.org/ and download the new Ready For Wildfire App.
More Information Contact: Andrew Hubbs 831-335-6794
RELEASE DATE: April 21, 2017