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Storm Damage Fire Hazard Mitigation Help Available

Eastern Madera County — On July 18, 2023, CAL FIRE named Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council (YSRCDC) the winner of Grant 5GA21213. The award recognizes the project Eastern Madera County 2023 Winter Storm Fire Hazard Mitigation, which aids residents’ properties with hazardous fuel reduction and defensible space clearing of storm-related wood debris from the severe winter storms of 2023, prioritizing elderly, disabled, low-income, Tribal and Veteran applicants.


From January to March of 2023, severe storms created widespread vegetation debris and tree failure in Eastern Madera County’s foothill and mountain regions. It was estimated by a windshield survey conducted on March 27th, 2023 that 5,000 properties or more had been affected by vegetation damage and debris.


This project will provide hazardous fuel reduction and defensible space clearing of storm-related wood debris on properties of at-risk, disenfranchised, underserved, and low-income residents who may otherwise be unable to complete fire-resilient landscape projects without this support.

As a result of this damage, CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU) contacted Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council (YSRCDC) to submit a proposal to provide services to contract with a wildfire fuel reduction specialist/contractor to clear storm-related wood debris from properties defensible spaces. This project expects to provide wildfire related safety and protection to a minimum of 127 habitable structures in Eastern Madera County. The project will also continue the mission of YSRCDC and CAL FIRE to educate, inform, and solicit public participation to create and maintain defensible spaces in high-fire risk regions.


Defensible space is a buffer between buildings and the surrounding area and acts as a barrier to slow or halt the progress of fire that could set the property on fire. There are three different zones when creating defensible space around a property. Zone 0 is the most important and is the first five feet from the property. Zone 1 is thirty feet from the property, and Zone 2 is 100 feet. Defensible space is the first line of defense for property against wildfires.

YSRCDC has contracted with American Tree Medics Inc. (ATM), a vegetation management consulting firm, to assess damage and implement mitigation work. ATM is no stranger to the
Eastern Madera County as evidenced in a previous story written here. ATM was formed in 2015 and partnered with non-profit groups and public agencies to help maintain tree health and property safety. Some of their previous projects include defensible space clearing in the County of Tuolumne, Valley Fire 2015, and the Napa County Public Works Hazard Tree Project.


YSRCDC has created an online application for Eastern Madera County Residents to utilize; it can be found on the YSRCDC website www.ysrcandd.org under projects. Please direct questions via email to info@ysrcandd.org.

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