Fuel Break

Nevada County Community Shaded Fuelbreak

This project began in 2004 and was completed in July of 2011 with assistance from private landowners, CAL FIRE and the USDA NRCS cost share incentive programs. The Shaded Fuel Break project area was developed to add protection to the community of Cascade Shores, the Scotts Flat Lake area, and the cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City.

The Nevada County Community Shaded Fuelbreak was developed out of a need to have a strategic plan to help protect cities and communities in the event of a catastrophic fire and to protect the forests from fires in the urban-wildland interface. The project area encompassed approximately fifteen miles, was up to one quarter mile in width and consisted of mostly large, privately owned parcels. Several meetings were held with Cascade Shores Homeowners Association, Lightening Tree Road Association, Nevada Irrigation District and the US Forest Service to coordinate land treatments and develop cooperation in order to complete the fuelbreak project.

Cooperating agencies provided education, awareness and cost-share funding information for private landowners. This program was voluntary and had flexible prescriptions for a shaded fuel break while educating landowners to Best Management Practices (BMP’s) on their land including clearing brush, thinning and pruning. The project area hads over 60 years of fuels accumulation and was in a high fire severity zone. 

In 2008 the NCRCD received a $406,000 grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy for the Nevada County Community Shaded Fuelbreak and Riparian Forest Restoration Project through the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Act of 2006. This grant had allowed for continued work to be done in the Fuelbreak area.