American River Watershed Institute
Fire Safety Project | Pilot Project

About the Pilot Project

The City of Colfax successfully executed a Prop 13 grant for a community watershed and fire safe ecosystem demonstration project. The project had five components:
  1. The US Forest Service (USFS) conducted analyses, fire behavior modeling, and strategic planning resulting in a Colfax areawide strategic plan for shaded fuel break locations.
  2. A fire safe project was executed using neighborhood self-organization through cost share incentives, educational promotion, and administrative support.
  3. Project implementation was conducted utilizing ecosystem sensitive methods: three different mastication techniques were combined with hand crews and chipping methods. The project area consisted of fuel loaded urban residential parcels as well as timber production forest stands.
  4. Water quality impacts were assessed using an Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) methodology estimating soil loss; the project site had no water bodies for sampling. Photomonitoring was the monitoring component. Fire impacts on water quality were addressed at a landscape level from both historical and policy level perspectives.
  5. Project conclusions, education, and outreach included findings from analysis and strategic planning, lessons learned in the sociological approach through extensive participant evaluations, and proposals for policy level solutions.

A CD and web-based action toolkit of useful resources were created for Fire Safe Councils and homeowners interested. The Final Grant Report (PDF*, 5.2 MB) describes the entire process in detail.