Fire season has started early this year, and the Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks has a multi-pronged plan to reduce fire risk, defend wildlife habitat and protect our natural resources and neighborhoods adjacent to the parks.
For its 2021 Fire Fuel Reduction Action Plan, the Department of Regional Parks has lined up cattle, sheep and goat grazing contracts; is utilizing maintenance crews to maintaining fire breaks; and is issuing fuel break maintenance permits to properties bordering Park properties.
“We are halfway through June and we have already seen a higher fire frequency this summer than in recent years past,” said Deputy Director Mike Doane, Sacramento County Regional Parks. ”It is important for park visitors to remember that open flame fires are not allowed; barbequing is only permitted in designated picnic areas; and smoking is only allowed in developed picnic areas, asphalt surfaces, golf courses and levee tops in the American River Parkway”
To decrease the number and size potential of wildfires in our parks system, the techniques used will be applicable for each area and will include:
- Firebreaks – A combination of mowing, soil discing and targeted herbicides will be used where appropriate to create perimeters around open fields, along fence lines and behind neighborhoods. This work is scheduled to be completed by end of June.
- Ladder Fuel Hand-Crews – In limited, hard to reach areas, hand-crews will remove vegetation that allows the potential for a fire to climb up or move into urban areas.
- Grazing – There are hundreds of acres of undeveloped or protected land in our Regional Parks. This vegetation can be a costly and deadly fire hazard. Goats and sheep are ideal for vegetation management and are great at eating down weeds, bushes and grass that manned crews cannot get to. Grazing is expected to occur between May and the end of June.
- Annual Encroachment Permits – Residents who live adjacent to Regional Parks properties are able to apply for free annual encroachment permits to maintain a fire break behind their property line. These allow residents to string-trim grass and weeds for up to 50 feet beyond their private property line. To request a permit, provide your name, address and contact information to Regional Parks at parksinfo@SacCounty.net.
Visit the Regional Parks website to learn more the 2021 Fire Fuel Reduction Action Plan for Sacramento County Parks. If you see a fire burning in our Regional Parks, please call 9-1-1.