YUBA COUNTY WATERSHED PROTECTION & FIRE SAFE COUNCIL

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Marysville Road Fire


Marysville Road Fire Success Story

The Yuba Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council was formed in 1997 by through the efforts of Yuba County Supervisor, Hal Stocker.  It was precipitated by the devastating Williams fire that destroyed nearly 100 Yuba County homes and buildings. The Council is made up of state and federal agencies, county government, private timber landowners, local Fire Protection Districts, and community members.  This Council developed fuel reduction plans and secured 1.7 million dollars in grant funding during the past 10 years for fire prevention work in Yuba County.  One of the projects was funded by State Water Resources Board Proposition 204 to construct the Oregon Ridge fuelbreak that featured cooperative work with private timber landowners CHY, Soper/Wheeler, and Siller Brothers. The Marysville fire burned to that fuel break and was stopped there.  Many trees in the fuel break appear to have survived, and the fuel break itself provided a safer place for the firefighters to work.

 During threatening periods of this raging fire, much of the firefighting effort was done using hose lays around the fire and water drops from helicopters. The helicopters got their water from Lake Frances. This lake would not now be there if the Yuba County Water Agency had not put our citizen safety from fire above the extreme cost of restoring it. The water tenders and fire trucks also got water from Lake Frances and additionally from the only fire hydrant in Dobbins/Oregon House. The Dobbins/Oregon House Improvement Foundation has incorporated a 30,000 gallon water tank into their projects that gravity feeds a fire hydrant directly across from the Dobbins/Oregon House Volunteer Fire Station. Also the Setzer Foundation worked with the Yuba County 4H Council to provide a 10,000 gallon storage tank and hydrant on the 4H Camp property up the hill on the Oregon Ridge. All these water sources provided fire fighter water for fire suppression in an area of otherwise limited water sites availability for fire fighting this purpose.  Also, the fire was first reported by volunteers in the lookout tower on Oregon Peak. 

Map of Fire (PDF)

 All these coordinated prevention activities helped to limit, or actually prevent, fire's damage to homes, trees and the watershed. What happened here is truly a testament to pre fire planning and implementation of mitigation and prevention projects.  The Yuba Watershed Protection & Fire Safe Council continues to work with the Calif. Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the US Forest Service and the Yuba County Office of Emergency Services to plan and construct more fuel reduction projects to make the Yuba County Foothills a safer place to live.

 If you would like to join the Council in these fire prevention efforts, contact Jim Johnson at 274-6453.

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The Firesafe Council meets on the second Wednesday of every month at the Alcouffe Community Center in Dobbins-Oregon House from 9:30AM - 12 PM.