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Bethany Rouse of the Plumas Fire. Safe Council and Dale Morgan from PDH welcome a Quincy High S-Club volunteer to the event. Photo submitted

Volunteers make the area around PDH more fire safe

Quincy Firewise Community lead and Plumas County Fire Safe Council Board member, Mike Flanigan, lent a hand. He has been working with the insurance industry to recognize the value of community action. Photo submitted

To kickoff Wildfire Preparedness Month, the Plumas County Fire Safe Council partnered with Plumas District Hospital to host a volunteer workday. Participants removed thickets of small trees from around the hospital buildings south of Bucks Lake Road. The resulting forest is more open, with large conifers above an understory of dogwoods, maples, and currants that were being crowded out by hundreds of small trees. The treatment reduced “ladder fuels” that can carry wildfire into the tree canopy and threaten the ability of firefighters to defend the structures.

Volunteers cut trees with pruners, or picked up trees felled with a chainsaw, and dragged them to a chipper provided by Mountain Craft Landscaping. Volunteers included Quincy Firewise leaders, community members, students from Quincy High School’s Service Club, hospital Staff, and a member of the Hospital Board.

The treated area neighbors a 150-acre hazardous fuel reduction project, called the Quincy Wildfire Protection project, funded by a Sierra Nevada Conservancy Wildfire and Forest Resilience grant. This larger project started last fall and will be completed this year. It includes treatment on CHY Company lands as well as an absentee private landowner and Plumas District Hospital property. The objective of the project is to reduce the threat of a wildfire that approaches Quincy from the southwest (the prevalent wind direction). Once it’s complete the project will be visible from Bucks Lake Road.

The volunteer workday was an opportunity to enhance the value of the larger project and for community members to learn about fuel reduction and defensible space. The event also served as the ribbon cutting ceremony for a Firewise tool trailer, donated to the Plumas County Fire Safe Council by the California Fire Safe Council. The trailer is filled with hand tools, safety equipment, and supplies to support community workdays throughout the county. To find out more about the trailer or to schedule its use, contact Beth at the Plumas County Fire Safe Council: [email protected].

For more Wildfire Preparedness Month events visit: plumasfiresafe.org/calendar

Before: Many small conifers were creating a “ladder” to the tree canopy. Photo submitted
After: With the small trees removed a wildfire is more likely to stay on the surface, making suppression more safe and effective for firefighters. Photo submitted

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