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Projects underway to reduce wildfire risks on North Coast

CUTTEN- With multiple projects underway to reduce the dangers wildfires pose to the North Coast, the Director of the California Conservation Corps was in Cutten on Wednesday overseeing progress on one of those projects.

On Tuesday, CCC crews began working to remove fuel that can feed wildfires from a 14 acre area of the McKay Tract Community Forest in Cutten next to Walnut Drive. Trees between 3 and 5 inches in diameter that could help spread a wildfire to the bigger trees in the area are being removed. Humboldt Bay Fire and CalFire are assisting in the project, which is voter approved and state funded. The Director of the CCC, David Muraki, says projects like these can save lives.

"It's a public safety benefit that should this what I think would be fairly infrequent set of conditions develop that are really conducive to a big fire, that this will help really to protect their lives, their property, give them time to escape along the road and give the fire services a chance to get their firefighting equipment and personnel in place," said Muraki.

The fuel reduction project in Cutten is one of few statewide where loud machinery cannot be used, due to the spotted owl population in the area.

A similar fuel reduction project will be held next week in Blue Lake next to Green Point School.  Another fuel reduction project in Willow Creek should be finished in two weeks.