Squaw Valley Park Workday to Reduce Fire Fuels
A community volunteer workday will take place in Squaw Valley Park as part of the county’s plan to reduce forest fuels. These fuels create conditions that increase the chance of a catastrophic wildfire. The workday will take place from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 11, 2008. Click here for a flier on the event: Squaw Valley Park Fuels Reduction Workday
The fuels reduction project will focus on Squaw Valley Park, a 28-acre park near the junction of Highway 89 and Squaw Valley Road. Reducing forest fuels will not only reduce the chance of a wildfire, but will protect the Truckee River and Squaw Creek watersheds. The end result will make the park and the surrounding area a safer place to engage in recreational activities.
“We are blessed in Placer County to have Squaw Valley Park as a beautiful resource that’s used by residents and visitors alike,” said Supervisor Bruce Kranz, whose district includes Squaw Valley and a significant portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin. “The threat of wildfire is very real in the area and we need to do all we can to reduce that threat. Not doing so runs the risk of losing or damaging world-class destinations throughout the area, such as Squaw Valley.”
Implementing the Squaw Valley Park Fuel Load Reduction Project will protect the park and neighboring properties. The project’s focus will be to return the forest to health and then maintain that health. Doing so will make the area more fire resistant and, in the event of a fire, make fighting the fire easier and more effective.
Defensible space guidelines call for breaking up the fuel ladder, which is vegetation that is near to the ground. These low-lying branches can allow a fire to travel up into the tree canopy. When this occurs the fire can start crowning, which is fire that burns from tree top to tree top. By pruning off the lower branches from the first four or five few of the tree trunk, there is less chance of a fire traveling up the fuel ladder.
Material, such as twigs and branches, will be chipped and blown back onto the ground for soil stabilization, as well as weed inhibitor. Standing dead and dying trees will be cut down and chipped and the entire forest in Squaw Valley Park will be thinned.
Supervisor Kranz will be on hand to assist with the workday. Placer County and Fireside Pizza Co. will provide lunch. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, hand tools, and a wheel barrow. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
This project is a joint effort among community volunteers, Placer County and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. County contributions combined with the value of community labor totals $103,000. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is granting Placer County $245,500 for this project.
For additional information, please contact Placer County Parks Division, 530-889-6808. Or contact Andrew Mills, park supervisor, by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.