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Looking down to East Quincy from a densely packed forest on Claremont. Photo courtesy Plumas National Forest

Fuel reduction underway to protect Quincy, Meadow Valley and nearby communities

A project for fuel reduction on 30,180 acres of national forest lands to protect Quincy, Meadow Valley and other nearby communities is underway.

Plumas National Forest Supervisor Chris Carlton signed the Claremont Forest Resiliency Project (Claremont Project) Decision Notice on April 7, the first within the Community Protection and Wildfire Crisis Strategy Landscape identified on the Plumas in January.

“With more than two thirds of the Plumas National Forest affected by wildfire over the past five years, it is critical that we move quickly to protect our communities and forest from further impacts by devastating wildfires,” Carlton said.  “The Claremont Project is an example of how working together we can move quickly, from scoping last April to signature last week and now shifting to implementation and fuel reduction on the landscape.”

Implementation will include timber removal, thinning and prescribed burning.

At this time, more than $15 million in agreements with local and agency partners are being established for implementation work, identifying approximately 15,000 acres for initial treatment.  More information will be shared as those agreements are finalized and work begins, including what area residents and visitors can expect as work starts in the forest.

“This was a tremendous and remarkable planning effort thanks to our employees on the Mount Hough Ranger District,” Carlton said.  “I’m confident they will continue this excellence as we work with partners to apply the treatments from the Claremont Project decision,” Carlton said.

The Community Protection concept was proposed in January 2022 and is the top priority for the Plumas National Forest, recognizing the need to move swiftly on fuel reduction to help more than 41 communities in and around the forest.

To accomplish this, Plumas National Forest leadership is taking measures to increase capacity from analysis to implementation, working closely with a variety of partners.  There are four projects that make up the Community Protection concept – Claremont Forest Resiliency, North Quincy Fire Resiliency, Community Protection – Eastside and Community Protection – Central-West Slope projects.

“Our employees are committed to working with partners and across the landscape to do critical work to improve wildfire safety in and around our communities,” Carlton said.  “While we were fortunate last season to have reduced wildfire activity, it is crucial we prepare for coming fire seasons.”

In January, it was announced that the Plumas National Forest would receive an investment of approximately $273 million for Community Protection Project as a Wildfire Crisis Strategy Landscape.  The Plumas is one of 21 identified landscapes in the Western United States as high-risk firesheds.

The announcement recognized five high-risk firesheds on the Plumas, as well as critical infrastructure, watersheds and forest products at risk.  Availability of these resources benefit not only communities in the forest and Sierra Nevada Mountains, but also populations throughout California, including farmers and urban areas.

“We are truly honored to have this funding and national investment made to help reduce the effects of wildfire on our local communities, including creating a more resilient fire-adapted forest, reducing the potential for extreme fire behavior, and providing improved roads for community safety if there is a need to evacuate,” Carlton said.

“Signing the Claremont Project decision is an exciting and important first step for Community Protection, and we are looking forward to increasing fuel reduction and treatment in the area soon,” Carlton said.

For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/plumas or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas.

Some of the dead and dying trees in McFarland Ravine on Claremont. Photo courtesy Plumas National Forest

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