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Mayacamas Fire Safe Council awarded grant for fire prevention


By Casey Wellington

Since the 2017 fires, the scarred hills behind Bouverie Preserve have been a visible reminder of the devastation Glen Ellen endured. They have also been accumulating flammable debris during that time, which poses the risk of another wildfire. The Mayacamas Fire Safe Council (MFSC) noticed this was a problem and decided to take action. In May, they applied for a grant from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and on June 2 the Board approved a total of over $3.7 million for various vegetation management projects, including a $250,000 grant to the MFSC for its project. Of the 89 applications received, the MFSC’s was one of only 20 approved, and one of the five largest grants awarded. Fittingly, the money to fund the grants came from the PG& E settlement with the county, and it represents only a fraction of the amount that has been specifically allocated for this type of project.

The project involves clearing out fire debris and dangerous vegetation from the county easement along Cavedale and Trinity Roads. starting at Sonoma Highway. The project manager is Greg Holquist, a licensed forester with Western Forestry Consulting. The project will cover about 10 miles of roadside, clearing it out so that it’s safer for everybody. People who need to evacuate along Cavedale or Trinity in case of a fire will have much less risk of being trapped by fire across the road, and firefighters will be able to drive those roads safely to access wherever they are needed. Lisa Warner, co-chairperson of the MFSC, explained why she’s so passionate about this issue: “The fires may be past, but we continue to live with the aftermath every single day.”

The MFSC appreciatively mentioned the invaluable support they received from Johannes Hoevertsz, the county director of Transportation and Public Works. He provided them with a letter of support to accompany the application, in addition to preparing their California Environmental Quality Act exemption filing. Warner explained that without Hoevertsz’ assistance, the application would likely not have been approved.

If you are interested in receiving regular updates on the project, you can follow the Mayacamas Fire Safe Council on Nextdoor or email your contact information to [email protected] to stay updated via email. Thank you, Mayacamas Fire Safe Council, for helping to keep our community safe.