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From the August 2011 Battle Mountain News

posted Jul 3, 2014, 1:14 PM by Joe Christy

April, May, and June Showers Bring ...

April, May, and June showers, not to mention July drizzle, bring a bumper crop of fuel for Fall fires. All that grass and soft brush that keeps popping up has to be controlled before it turns to tinder and the truly hot and dry months of September and October arrive to parch everything. The seemingly interminable gray mornings are an excellent time to get out and whack the growth back. Please remember to avoid metal bladed power tools, since the stuff that's coming up is mostly one to four hour fuels – it can dry out to the point of igniting from a spark in less than half a day. Firefighters are already handling frequent small brush fires.

More Grant Funding Coming

Early in July we finally received the good news that our grant proposal to the USDA Western Wildland Urban Interface (WWUI) program, after more than a year in the shadow of the Federal Budget battles, has been funded.

Coming on the heels of the grant we reported on in May, through the California Fire Safe Council, the WWUI grant will enable us, during the coming winter, to build a second long stretch of shaded fuel break where Cemex timberlands front Empire Grade and to work with Braemoor neighbors on fuel management beyond the 100' of Defensible Space.

How do we choose these projects? First of all, based on need, in these cases securing one of the main ridge top thoroughfares in Bonny Doon. Second, and at this stage in our brief history, just as importantly, based on opportunity. We were lucky enough to have two large landowners, State Parks and Cemex, to buy-in and anchor the projects.

As we look around Bonny Doon, there are many other scary areas, for example, east of Bonnywood or west of Thayer & Shake Mill, where neighborhoods back up on steep terrain with decades of fuel load. In order to appeal to funding agencies, we will need strong neighborhood support in order to demonstrate feasibility of a landscape scale project.