Fire Safe council Seeks to Improve LPNF Fuelbreak Proposal

Missy has to go for a thorough and complete check-up today at the vet. I will report back tonight or tomorrow, but in the mean time, pleas look at this request from the Fire Safe Council.

Fire Safe Council Seeks to Improve Los Padres Forest Service Fuelbreak Proposal
Council encourages supporters to send letters to the Forest Service in support of improvements to the proposed fuelbreak project

MONTEREY COUNTY, CA, February 4, 2013 — The Fire Safe Council for Monterey County seeks improvements to a proposed U.S. Forest Service fuelbreak project around part of the Los Padres National Forest. Improvements to the project would better protect communities, watersheds, habitats and reservoirs from devastating wildfire. The Council is submitting a comment letter to the Forest Service with proposed improvements.

The Council is asking the public to help by submitting statements of support to the Forest Service for the Council’s comment letter, by Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

Information on the Council’s comment letter and how the public can submit statements to support it is available at

The Forest Service has invited the public to submit comments on its proposed “Strategic Community Fuelbreak Improvement Project,” as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The deadline to submit comments is Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

The Council, whose mission is to help protect lives and property from wildfires in Monterey County, is urging the public to submit comments to the Forest Service stating support for the Council’s letter. Comments submitted in support of improvements to the project can help the Forest Service justify making improvements.

Fuelbreaks are areas where vegetation is reduced before wildfire starts so that during fires it is safer and easier for firefighters to contain wildfires. If properly designed and maintained fuelbreaks can stop the spread of fire.

Michael Caplin, spokesperson for the Council on this issue said, “The fire safe council sees the proposed project as a major step in the right direction by the Forest Service, however, as currently described the project needs substantial improvements.”

For example, among other proposed changes to the project, the Council’s letter asks for Forest Service statements that the project may not be completed for 10 years to be clarified to say the project will be completed sooner.

10 years from today would be about 15 years after the Basin Fire. However, it was only about 9 years between the 1999 Kirk Fire and the Basin Fire in 2008, both of which were major fires started by lightning in the National Forest. A 10-year completion date could be after the next major fire, which would be too late.

“That the fuelbreak project is being proposed at all is a major step forward and a testimonial to the value of the 2010 Monterey County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which recommends that the historic Big Box Firebreak around the perimeter of the Monterey County portion of the Los Padres National Forest be improved with effective fuelbreaks,” Caplin said.

“However, that does not mean the project description cannot and should not be improved to help ensure the project is feasible to complete, and effective once completed. Expressions of support by the public for the fire safe council’s letter to the Forest Service will help that happen,” Caplin added.

Additional information is available at

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