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SPI Creating Fire Buffer Zones

Sierra Resource Management officials and Sierra Pacific Industries are talking up about a project to create fire break buffer zones in Mother Lode wildlands.

SPI is creating the defensible spaces between timber and residential areas along the Highway 108 corridor.

Vice President Stacey Martin with Sierra Resource Management says her firm is doing a mechanical thinning operation on about 80-acres of Sierra Pacific Industries-owned land just above Mi-Wuk Village. This land is adjacent to homes.

“This is something we´re trying to highlight for the residents and the community,” Martin says. With all the fires going on in the West, it´s a prime time to show how fuel reduction can be a major force in preventing run-away wildfires in the area.

Lack of management on the forest over the past years has put much of the public land in danger of catastrophic wildfires, she says.

The concept isn´t a new one, but private land owner SPI is doing it in Tuolumne County to try and prevent fire disasters from happening, Martin says.

Martin says the special thinning project is getting a positive response from the local community and Federal officials.

“In the past fire suppression was the way they wanted the forest to be managed,” she says, “but now the mind set is: We´ve done than for too long.”