DWR and CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire Department Launch Fuel Reduction Projects to Reduce Wildfire Threats Around Lake Oroville


An aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge at Lake Oroville on November 01, 2017.

An aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge at Lake Oroville. DWR/2017.

SACRAMENTO –The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire Department have jointly launched three major fuel reduction projects designed to reduce wildfire threat and bolster forest health around Lake Oroville.

The projects aim to enhance public safety by reducing the number and intensity of wildfires by thinning overstocked trees and bushes that fuel the fires. The thinning process also increases forest health and helps maintain water quality. Furthermore, larger timber and brush will be strung together and placed in Lake Oroville as habitat structures for fish and other wildlife.

The projects are part of DWR’s Fuel Load Management Plan (FLMP) for lands within the Oroville Facilities Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project boundary. The FLMP was developed in coordination with federal, state, and local fire and resources management agencies. Since the plan’s initial launch in November 2012, approximately 300 acres have been treated within the FERC project boundary. Officials hope to treat an additional 400 acres within five years through the three newly launched projects.

On Jan. 9, the Butte County Fire Safe Council launched the first project at Bidwell Canyon along the Dan Beebee Trail and Bidwell Canyon Trail. Partners in the 23-acre phased project include DWR, CAL FIRE, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Butte County Fire Department. This work will be completed by Butte County Sheriff’s Office work crews, Mooretown Rancheria, CAL FIRE, and the California Conservation Corps.

The second project is being conducted at Loafer Creek State Recreation Area. CAL FIRE and DWR are working cooperatively to identify and treat areas within the approximately 900-acre target zone. Currently, CAL FIRE Valley View work crews are thinning and piling brush along a section of the Loafer Loop Trail. Pile burning will occur in March and April to complete this phase. There are plans to perform a broadcast burn in the fall of 2018 when the project resumes after the fire season.

The third project is at Lime Saddle, north of Lake Oroville Marina, and includes approximately 25 acres of areas previously treated since 2015. This project will resume in the fall of 2018 after fire season.

As areas are completed, new areas will be identified.







Erin Mellon, Assistant Director, Department of Water Resources, Public Affairs

(916) 704-5529 | erin.mellon@water.ca.gov

Rick Carhart, Information Officer, CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire Department

(530) 531-7585 | rick.carhart@fire.ca.gov