New Fire Break And Evacuation Route Planned For Groveland
Groveland, CA – The Groveland Community Services District has received a $404,000 grant from the California Fire Marshall as part of the state’s cap and trade program.
Built-up vegetation, small trees and ladder fuels will be removed to create fuel breaks over 119 acres owned by GCSD. It will connect to the Jones Hill shaded fuel break that was completed in 2021.
GCSD General Manager Pete Kampa says, “It will make a line across the ridgetop from the Tuolumne River Canyon and down over to protect the Groveland area, and tying into fire fuel breaks going to Pine Mountain Lake, and also Big Oak Flat.”
Kampa adds, “It will really slow a fire down and allows us to get control before it gets to structures. It is really an awesome project.”
The work also includes clearing fuels from existing roads and a railroad easement so that an emergency fire exit can be established. Kampa notes that Highway 120 is a major path for tourists, and there could be major challenges in the event of a wildfire forcing evacuations.
The new route would allow emergency vehicles or evacuees to cross district property near the baseball court in the Flint Court area. When not used for emergencies, the route could also serve as a trail.
GCSD has started the Environmental Review for the project and plans to seek contractor bids in July.