Tuolumne County Profile - Community Indicators Project 2008
Tuolumne County Profile Introduction Health and Safety Education and the Arts Natural Resources and Recreation Economy and Infrastructure Appendices Conclusion Acknowledgements

Wildland Fire Services

Why is this important?

All of Tuolumne County is at risk from wildfire. The seasonal cycle of very wet winters and hot dry summers creates an environment that is conducive to large damaging wildfires in the summer and fall months.

Prior to Euro-American settlement, wildland fires recurred at 12-26 year intervals at higher elevations and 8-15 year intervals at lower elevations. Introduction of livestock, grazing, logging, and organized fire suppression forces altered these natural fire return intervals. The result has been a shift from frequent low intensity wildfires to higher intensity fires burning in more dense forests. In most cases, resources from outside the local area are called in to help with suppression efforts. A growing population can increase the threat of wildfires.

What is the measure?

We noted the trends of personnel and resources.

How are we doing?

Despite the increasing number of wildfires statewide, fire suppression resources remain the same in Tuolumne County. As of January 1, 2008, new building standards were developed for California in the Wildland Urban Interface. A collaborative effort between the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), the Office of the State Fire Marshall, local fire districts, building associations, and other public safety organizations identified better construction methods and materials to make buildings more resistant to ignition.

Further, defensible space is now required by eliminating flammable vegetation in the ignition zone (minimum 30 feet) and reducing vegetation in the outer zones (minimum 70 feet), to create a 100 foot clearance around structures.


Forest Fire

Community Indicators Project
Tuolumne County - Central Sierra Mountains