Still time to prepare for wildfire season |

Still time to prepare for wildfire season

Staff Reports
Trucks line up in Sheridan Acres to dispose of flammable material into three bins as part of a fuels reduction project. The first bin was filled up in five hours.
Special to The R-C

Two small lightning strike tree fires in the Pine Nut Mountains over four days are an indication that wildfire season is trying to get started, though wet conditions have kept it small.

On Monday afternoon, East Fork and Bureau of Land Management firefighters responded to a tree fire east of Out-R-Way that was reported to be 20 feet in diameter.

Reports from the scene were the fire was moving very slowly, in part due to the moisture the Pine Nuts have received over the past few weeks.

The good news is that means residents still have time to prepare for wildfire season.

Sheridan Acres neighbors participated in Community Wildfire Protection Day on May 4 by working to reduce flammable vegetation.

Located along the Foothill Road corridor, Sheridan is rated as high risk for catastrophic wildland fire

Grants from the National Fire Protection Association and State Farm Insurance combined with neighborhood donations allowed residents to rent three 30 cubic yard debris bins from Douglas Disposal.

“This opportunity was available to all residents, and approximately a third of us disposed of sagebrush, junipers, pines, weeds and dead debris, thus decreasing the fire hazard in Sheridan Acres,” resident Peggy Ristorcelli said. “We disposed of 15-20 tons of flammable material.

Additionally, a group of volunteers removed the native vegetation and the weeds from the bridle path, which runs through the center of the neighborhood.

“These fuels reduction projects have been needed for years. Although there is still work to do, we are pleased with our improvement of the Sheridan Acres wildfire hazard,” Ristorcelli said. “We would particularly like to thank Douglas Disposal for their assistance with this project, and the NFPA and State Farm for awarding us the grant.”

The specter of rapidly burning fires has prompted Alpine View Estates residents in Jacks Valley to organize a community wildfire evacuation drill 8 a.m. to noon June 29.

The drill will be supported by the East Fork Fire District, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Douglas County Community Emergency Response Team. Teams from Search and Rescue will go door-to-door notifying residents of the voluntary, practice drill and advising them to collect some essential items and proceed to Jacks Valley School, if they wish to participate. After checking in at the school, residents can proceed to James Lee Park for a community picnic.

The team plans to have the ability to process small animals (pets) at the school but after the drill, residents must return their pet to their homes, since the park does not allow pets. There will be a planning meeting at the school on 6:30 p.m. June 25. All residents are invited to attend. For information, contact Lee Elson at 775-267-9371.

The Camp Fire was one of the largest and deadliest in California history.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea and Supervisor Doug Teeter will discuss their experiences with the fire 5-8 p.m. June 21 at Turtle Rock Park.

Alpine County Sheriff Rick Stephens will discuss the evacuation process in Alpine County.

Representatives from Alpine County Public Health, Easter Alpine Fire, California Highway Patrol, CalFire, U.S. Forest Service and Liberty Utilities will discuss other issues involving wildfire preparedness and response.