Yuba County Program to Assist with Fire Season Preparedness

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April 5—Ahead of this year’s wildfire season, the Yuba Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council announced the launch of a program to help homeowners protect their homes from a catastrophic disaster.

Under the Defensive Space Cost-Sharing Program, Yuba County residents will be able to apply for funding on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Yuba Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council, a nonprofit community group, said the grants will allow residents of the foothills of Yuba County to be reimbursed for creating a defensible space and strengthening their homes against forest fires.

Districts targeted for this funding include Camptonville Community Service District, Foothill Fire Protection District, Dobbins Oregon House Fire Protection District, Loma Rica Browns Valley Community Service District, and Smartsville Fire Department, the council said.

Residents who want to start the process can schedule a free in-home mitigations exam to qualify for the program. Eligible individuals can be reimbursed for up to 50% of the cost — a maximum of $2,000 — for eligible home reinforcement upgrades and defensible space mitigation work completed by November 30.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection describes a defensible space as the buffer zone created between a building on a property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wilderness area that surrounds it.

“Removing excess vegetation could improve fire suppression efforts and provide a safe area for firefighters to defend the home and/or also respond to emergency calls on the property,” the Yuba Watershed said. Protection and Fire Safe Council. “The new Defensive Space Cost-Sharing Program will help mitigate homeowner preparation costs, including the removal of all dry, flammable vegetation within 5 feet of home structures; the removal of branches , weeds, dead grass and more within 30 feet of structures up to the property line Clearing vegetation of branches and small trees around porches and decks at ground level Rendering accessible roads and walkways; and suggest other preventative measures.”

The council said the scheme is “focused on helping residents with priority activities that reduce risk the most. It will not cover the cost of removing large trees”.

According to the council, the following actions must be completed to participate: https://yubafiresafe.org/wildfire-mitigation-review-program/ – Based on the information from your exam, perform your defensible space activities, working outward from the gateway to the forest, prioritizing areas 0 and 1 first. If you mitigate zone 2 before zones 0 and 1 are mitigated, your application may not be approved. Remember to take before and after photos – photos and receipts are required for reimbursement eligibility. — Apply for reimbursement online (https://airtable.com/shrs8HOg1I9k51Z24) along with copies of receipts and invoices, and your before/after photos. Or print the applications and send them by post.

The council said landowners should prioritize activities so that work is carried out from the front door to the forest. Eligible program activities include: — Zone 0 (immediate): Noncombustible zone 0 to 5 feet from the structure; remove all combustibles and shrubs that could ignite within 5 feet of the structure; Install non-flammable landscaping/landscaping materials – Zone 1 (Intermediate): lean, clean and green within 5-30 feet; remove branches overhanging buildings and within 10 feet of chimney or stovepipe outlets; create discontinuous fuels using wide spacing and landscaping features; move piles of wood and other flammable household items away from dwellings; shredding of removed fuels; remove seedlings and saplings (not large/adult trees) to create/maintain appropriate tree crown spacing; pruning/trimming trees; remove scale combustibles such as shrubs; removing dead biomass material; expose bare mineral soil 10 feet around outbuildings, woodpiles, and liquid propane tanks. — Zone 2 (Extended): Combustibles reduced by 30-100 feet once you approach areas closer to your residence; shredding of removed fuels; remove seedlings and saplings (not large/adult trees) to create/maintain appropriate tree crown spacing; pruning/limping trees; remove scale combustibles such as shrubs; removing dead biomass material; exposing bare mineral soil 10 feet around outbuildings, woodpiles, and liquid propane tanks; mow grasses and annuals up to 4 inches tall; reduce litter and debris on the ground to less than 3 inches deep.

For more information, visit https://yubafiresafe.org.

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