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 ¾ 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.
stopped at the Middlebrook fuel break and access road
Map of Yuba Fire- click for larger view
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