28 May 2009

Carbon Canyon Brush Clearance and Wildfire Awareness Fair

After an agreement was reached by CalFire, the state fire agency, and CalTrans, a project to remove brush from the easement along the shoulder of Carbon Canyon Road has been ongoing by CalTrans District 8, which deals with the San Bernardino County/Chino Hills side of the highway.

At the moment, it appears that the bulk of the work has been conducted on the portion east of the Summit Ranch housing development to Chino Hills Parkway and primarily on the souther side of the road, where weeds were cut down and oak and other trees trimmed. While the purpose was to mitigate potential fire hazards, the effect also makes the highway look a little cleaner.

This follows on the heels of the clearance of mud debris from the last heavy winter rains, which were in 2004-05, over on the Orange County side by CalTrans District 12.

Obviously, with a fourth consecutive year of low rainfall, the vegetation in the Canyon is drying out sooner and this increases the fire risk. Even though the Brea side burned most heavily in last November's Freeway Complex Fire, there is still fuel there and certainly is plenty on the Chino Hills side, so let's hope the brush clearance program throughout the Canyon makes some difference.

Also, let's not forget that this Saturday, 30 May from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. is the Wildfire Awareness Fare, coordinated by the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council and held at Fire Station 64 and Western Hills Park, located at the intersection of Carbon Canyon Road and Canon Lane.

A gardening workshop, with an eye to promoting fire-safe plants, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., there will be vendors showing fire prevention products, and there will be give-aways and food provided courtesy of Home Depot, Farmers Insurance, the City of Brea Fire Department, Fresh & Easy market, Trader Joes, BevMo, and more. The City of Chino Hills will also have emergency decals for Canyon residents available and residents can sign up for the "e-notify" system for emergency information.

This could be a very challenging fire season ahead, but preparedness has definitely improved and the Fire Safe Council has been instrumental in this process. Let's hope that we are spared anything near what happened last fall!

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