The South Yuba Rim Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project is a 6,000-acre landscape level fuel reduction project slated on the North San Juan Ridge in Nevada County. This project is the culmination of many years of coordination and advocacy of community leaders, 13 Firewise Communities, the Bureau of Land Management, CAL FIRE, and the Yuba Watershed Institute. It articulates a cohesive vision to connect several existing and planned treatment areas into a strategic contiguous shaded fuel break.
The County of Nevada has secured funding to begin the first step in this multi-year effort, Phase 1, Planning, which will consist of scoping the project area, conducting community outreach and engagement, identifying appropriate treatment design, and conducting environmental and cultural review. Upon completion of this planning effort, the community will have an approximately 800-acre “shovel-ready” project.
The project is located in the South Yuba River Canyon along the north rim starting at the South Yuba River State Park at Bridgeport stretching east for 16 miles to North Bloomfield. It will link together and build upon completed actions on State, Federal, and private lands. Additionally, it will protect over 44,000 residents, critical infrastructure, and the Wild and Scenic South Yuba River from the impacts of wildfire. Existing projects that will tie together with the South Yuba Rim Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project include Bunker Hill Vegetation Management Project (VMP), Bunker Hill Fuel Break, Jackass Flats Road, Shady Creek Fuel Break, Reader Ranch VMP, Malakoff Diggins VMP, Montezuma Ridge Fuel Break, and the ‘Inimin Forest Restoration Project.
Due to the complexity of this project, this will be a two-phase multi-year effort. To ensure the shaded fuel break remains useful, funds for ongoing maintenance must be raised.
Creating a landscape-scale swath of healthy, thinned, wildfire-resilient forest across the rugged South Yuba Rim will guard against the uncontrolled spread of future wildfires that will ultimately save lives. More than 98% of Nevada County residents living in the State Responsibility Area are considered to live in high to very high fire severity zones. Nevada City and Grass Valley have been identified by CAL FIRE as the second and fourth highest priority target areas for Vegetation Management/Fuels Modification Projects in the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit.
The South Yuba Rim Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project is a priority project listed in the CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Plan 2022 Strategic Fire Plan, furthers the overarching goals of the Nevada County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and confronts the wildfire component of the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.