YUBA COUNTY WATERSHED PROTECTION & FIRE SAFE COUNCIL

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Yuba Fire

Middlebrook Fuel Break Used as a Fire Fighter Tool in the Yuba Fire

A CAL FIRE Prop 40 funded grant to the Yuba Watershed Protection & Fire Safe Council was used by fire crews to stop the Yuba Fire from going to Marysville Road and blocking traffic and damaging more watershed and homes in the Dobbins community.

In 2004, landowner, John Middlebrook completed construction of a fuel break 300 feet wide of a mile on his property along Marysville Road and a portion of the east boundary using his own money.  Thee Yuba Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council, with assistance from High Sierra Resources Conservation and Development Council Inc obtained a Proposition 40 grant from Cal Fire to complete and additional 1.1 miles of fuel break along the easterly boundary and southerly end of Middlebrook property.  Brush and small trees were masticated with equipment or hand cut, piled and burned.  A maintenance/access road within the SFB was also constructed.  The project was started in 2007 and was completed early in 2008.

On Friday, August 14, 2009, the Yuba Fire started that would end up consuming 3,891 acres.  The fire was slowed down by the southerly end of the fuel break (location A).  If the fire had extended 500 to 1000 feet northerly it would have entered into young timber stands and done much economic damage and marched northerly uphill toward the major county arterial highway – Marysville Road. The fuel break provided time to marshal firefighting resources.  Quick access to the fire was also gained from Lake Francis Road to the south into the fire and through the grant funded fuel break access road.  The $52,500 fuel break grant paid off many times over by slowing and stopping the fire, while at the same time providing access for the successful firefight.

Yuba Fire stopped at the Middlebrook fuel break and access road

  

Map of Yuba Fire- click for larger view


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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.