July 24, 2013

Hazard Fuel Assessment and draft Community Wildfire Protection Plan, NPS and Community of Foresta, California

forestaForesta, California.

Foresta is a small community within the boundary of Yosemite National Park that in 1990 was heavily impacted by a catastrophic wildfire.  The community is surrounded by forest that was spared by the fire and new vegetation that is becoming reestablished in recent years.  This entire community is still very much at risk from a large fast moving wildfire.  As part of the process, Wildland Fire Associates assessed all the structures in the community using protocols established by RedZone.

The assessments of the structures were used to determine the vulnerability of that structure to a catastrophic wildfire.  The results of the assessment were included in the base map developed as part of the process and used by the core team and Wildland Fire Associates to identify areas of concern and make decisions. Treatments were identified that would allow fire fighters to safely defend the community against an approaching ground fire.

After completion of the hazard fuels assessment Wildland Fire Associates worked with the community to develop mitigation measures that were both aesthetically acceptable to the residents and would allow for safe and effective management of approaching wildland fires.

The final assessment and mitigation plan included prescribed treatments, equipment needs, cost estimates and other information needed by the community and the National Park in order to submit a competitive grant proposal and receive project funding.  Additional recommendations were also made concerning needed improvement to improve evacuation routes and the need for a formal evacuation plan.