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Mulching To Reduce Fire Fuels

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Arnold, CA — Using money from a CAL Fire grant, loggers started working today to reduce fire fuels in the Mill Woods Subdivision in the Arnold area and Calaveras County officials warn the public to avoid the area.

By decreasing the fuel load and creating a fuel break, county officials relay that the cleared area will reduce the risk of fire by slowing its potential spread, allowing firefighters “critical extra time” to gain control of the flames. Crews with Ronwright Logging, based in Dorrington will reduce “a dangerous fuel load” on 30 acres of undeveloped property in the neighborhood, according to Calaveras County Resource Conservation District (CCRCD) officials.

“It is important to note that the Mill Woods project is part of a major effort to construct shaded fuel breaks around all communities from Camp Connell to Murphys on the Hwy 4 corridor with major contributions from Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Sierra Pacific Industries, Stanislaus National Forest and other subdivisions. The CCRCD is pleased to play an important role in this significant project,” states Gordon Long, Executive Director of CCRCD.

The project will also impact a small section of the Arnold Rim Trail (ART). To protect hikers it will be closed between the end of the trail, at the Logging Museum, and the Cedar Center feeder trail while the work is ongoing. Due to the powerful mulching machinery and the potential for chipped wood to fly out of the equipment, the public is being asked to avoid the work area. Warning signs are posted within the subdivision and entrances to the trail.

The work is anticipated to be completed in about a month. The district received the funding from the California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide initiative using Cap-and-Trade dollars.

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