Calfire press release:
California experienced the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in its history in 2017 and 2018. Fueled by drought, an unprecedented buildup of dry vegetation and extreme winds, the size and intensity of these wildfires caused the loss of more than 100 lives, destroyed thousands of homes and exposed millions of urban and rural Californians to unhealthy air. Recognizing the need for urgent action, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-05-19 on January 9, 2019. The order directed the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), in consultation with other state agencies and departments, to recommend actions to help prevent destructive wildfires. CAL FIRE identified 35 priority projects statewide that can be implemented immediately to help reduce public safety risk for over 200 communities.
As part of this order, the CAL FIRE Humboldt- Del Norte Unit has begun treatment on an 18 acre Fuels Reduction project to protect the vulnerable community of Bridgeville from the risk of catastrophic wildfire. The project consists of removal of hazardous dead trees, vegetation clearing and the creation of defensible space.
It is important to note that California faces a massive backlog of forest management work. Millions of acres are in need of treatment, and this work once completed must be repeated over the years. Also, while fuels treatment such as forest thinning and creation of fire breaks can help reduce fire severity, wind-driven wildfire events that destroy lives and property will very likely still occur.
This project, in addition to defensible space clearing completed by private landowners will assist CAL FIRE in its mission to safeguard the people and protect the property and resources of California.