This summer, work is expected to begin on the Blue Rush Site Preparation and Stand Maintenance Project.
The project is a shaded fuel break in the Blue Canyon downslope from communities including Shaver Lake, Cressman’s, Pineridge and Dinkey Creek in Fresno County and is scheduled to begin in July.
A shaded fuel break is a forest management strategy used for mitigating the threat of wildfire in areas where natural fire regimes have been suppressed, leading to a dangerous buildup of combustible vegetation.
It will be supported via a grant-funded partnership between the High Sierra Ranger District of the Sierra National Forest (SNF) and the Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council (YSRCDC), which was awarded $999,960 from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, a news release from the Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council said.
The release stated that the project will have multiple positive impacts through the mitigation of wildfire within the Big Creek and upper Kings River watershed, including increased public safety of communities upslope of the project area, the protection of wildlife habitats and sustaining carbon sequestration.
The Kings River watershed is a resource for farmland irrigation, recreation and hydropower.
Contractors, along with SNF, will perform fuel treatments on at least 350 acres and create a shaded fuel break to protect upslope communities and infrastructure.
Dead and dying trees will be felled and removed or piled. Live trees will be thinned to reduce forest density and increase resilience.
Once completed, the treatments will create a burn unit that can be used to treat an additional 900 acres through prescribed fire and with the correct burning conditions.
The project is part of several larger restoration plans, including the Blue Rush Project, Dinkey Landscape Restoration Project (DLRP) and the Sierra Resilient Landscapes.
The Blue Rush Project was created by the SNF to reduce hazardous fuels, mitigate hazardous trees and improve forest health in Blue Canyon through restoration.
The entire project encompasses approximately 4,837 acres.