On Friday, November 8, 2019 Thompson Peak Initiative (TPI) partners presented CAL FIRE Lassen Modoc Unit Chief Scott Packwood with petitions that 2,300 people signed over the last month in support of fuel treatments that TPI is proposing in the communities of Janesville, Milford and the adjacent Plumas National Forest. Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc. (LCFSC) Board Member Phil Good was the lead in the successful petition drive. TPI was formed in June of this year in an effort to plan and acquire funds for fuel treatments in a project area that is deemed the highest priority in the Lassen County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). TPI’s principal partners include LCFSC, CAL FIRE, Lassen County, Plumas National Forest, Eagle Lake BLM Field Office, the Janesville, Milford and Susan River Fire Protection Districts and the Honey Lake Valley RCD.
Over the last five months TPI has held monthly community meetings, attended by up to 70 residents, to plan for a comprehensive fuels treatment project that would protect the communities of Janesville and Milford from wildfire. In addition, the project would restore the watershed, reduce potential greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and thus help mitigate the effects of climate change. It has also been critical for TPI to engage with residents to garner their support and participation in the planned project. TPI is on track to submit a California Climate Initiative/Fire Prevention grant application in early December.
“This year’s Walker Fire and the ensuing evacuations have shown how critical it is for comprehensive fuel and forest restoration treatments to be implemented in these communities,” said Lloyd Keefer, LCFSC Chair. “Janesville and Milford have dodged the bullets of the past Walker, Moonlight and Eagle fires, but time is not on our side. It is not a matter of if a wildfire will flow down the Diamond Mountains escarpment, but when”.