The Folsom Fire Safe Council, in partnership with the city of Folsom and Cal Fire, has completed a shaded fuel break project to improve the overall safety of the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary from the threat of wildfire.
Since 1963 this small zoo has provided safe, life-long homes for animals that were either raised and rejected as wild pets, or were injured or orphaned in the wild. The location of the Zoo Sanctuary is adjacent on two sides with the American River Canyon drainage and is located within a Wildland Urban Interface zone.
The project was completed earlier this year, before the start of wildfire season in Folsom. The shaded fuel break project was completed by Growlersburg Conservation Camp Crew 1 from the Amador-El Dorado-Alpine-Sacramento Unit of Cal Fire. The project included removing small trees and surface and ladder fuels — dry grass, shrubs, tall brush, and low branches — that can carry fire from a low-intensity ground fire up into the tops of the trees causing a devastating life threatening effect to the zoo animals in the sanctuary.
By completing this shaded fuel break project adjacent to the Zoo Sanctuary firefighters can now protect these lands during a wildfire from a safe work location. Further the project allows staff to shelter in place large animals such as bears and lions during a wildfire emergency in the adjacent canyon. The project was also designed to improve the animal habitat in the nearby drainage while at the same time avoiding soil erosion damage.
Folsom is not immune to the threat of wildfires each fire season that can threaten nearby neighborhoods. Such a situation could lead to evacuation of large portions of the population and the potential for significant loss of personal property, structures and open space areas. Folsom residents must be ever diligent and cognizant about the defensible space around their homes and structures.
Information about creating a defensible space around your home is available online at wildlandfiresrsg.org and folsomfsc.org.
This is the first of many fire mitigation projects that the Folsom Fire Safe Council intends to pursue in the coming months.
The Folsom Fire Safe Council, a grassroots community based organization formed in October, 2009, with the specific purpose to protect the people, (or in this case the animals) of Folsom, and their property from the effects of catastrophic wildfire through education, cooperation, innovation and action.