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Published November 9th, 2022
Work continues as recent rains give hope to end of fire season
Work areas within the Tunnel-East Bay Hills Fuel Break Project Image provided

While recent rains have been a welcome sight in Lamorinda, Moraga-Orinda Fire District Fire Marshal Jeff Isaacs warns residents not to let their guard down. "This time of year, we get questions from the public on fire season: Are we out of fire season?" Isaacs noted at the Oct. 19 MOFD board of directors meeting. "It really depends on the rain. If we see that early onset of rain of three to four inches, we can safely expect that we're not going to see any large, rapidly spreading fires. But if that rain is pushed back and we get those wind events that usually occur this time of year, we could be right back into significant fire weather."
Isaacs said MOFD is preparing to start chipping season and fire reduction work as fire season begins to wind down. "The chipper should be ready to go by mid-November," he said, also noting that the Home Hardening Grant Program is going strong. This program is open to all residents within MOFD's jurisdiction for the 2022-23 fiscal year ending on June 30, 2023, with grants available to reimburse the purchase of ember-resistant vents not to exceed $1,000 per parcel.? "We ordered about 1,800 feet of BushFire [1/16" mesh in 7.5" width] fence material and have 800 feet remaining." He said there have been over 30 requests for the material and homeowners say it's easy to manipulate and can be installed without having to hire a contractor. More information can be found at the MOFD website: www.mofd.org/our-district/fuels-mitigation-fire-prevention/home-hardening-grant-program.
Wildfire prevention work is also continuing at the Tunnel-East Bay Hills Fuel Break Project through Cal Fire in Work Area 2 and into Work Area 1 of the six work areas. Crews have cut brush, limbed up trees and created piles that will be burned or chipped and they'll do additional cutting and fuels mitigation once the weather becomes more favorable this fall or winter, Isaacs said. They have been allowed to do work in those areas "because it's on East Bay Municipal Utility District land and EBMUD has the environmental and CEQA documents done so we follow their habitat conservation plan," he said.
MOFD is working with environmental consultant, Sequoia, who worked with the district on the North Orinda Shaded Fuel Break and they're doing the CEQA for the portions of the grant that will take place on private property in areas 4, 3 and portions of area 5. "We should have that environmental work done by spring and once we have that accomplished, we have workers in place who will be able to get our crews out there and get working on this," Isaacs said.
To view the entire presentation on YouTube, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsDpErRUjFA&t=2727s

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