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Fire Prevention Efforts Underway in Regional Park

Fire season seems to start earlier and earlier, and the Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks has already initiated its multi-pronged plan to reduce fire risk, defend wildlife habitats and protect our natural resources and the neighborhoods adjacent to the parks.  
 
For its 2022 Fire Fuel Reduction Action Plan, the Department of Regional Parks has lined up sheep and goat grazing contracts, is utilizing maintenance crews to maintain fire breaks, and is issuing fuel break maintenance permits to properties bordering Park properties.  
 
“Thanks to the additional funding we were allocated in the last round of budget hearings, we were able to increase – and get a head start on – our fire fuel reduction efforts this year,” said Liz Bellas, Director of Regional Parks. ”Our maintenance crews have already begun targeted herbicide treatments and removing fire fuels in the areas they can reach, and the goat and sheep grazing will begin shortly for the areas our manned crews can’t reach.”
 
To decrease the number and size potential of wildfires in our parks system, the techniques used will be applicable for each area and will include:
 
  • Firebreaks – A combination of mowing, soil discing and targeted herbicides will be used where appropriate to create perimeters around open fields, along fence lines and behind neighborhoods. This work is scheduled to be completed by end of June. 
  • Ladder Fuel Hand-Crews – In limited, hard-to-reach areas, hand-crews will remove vegetation that allows the potential for a fire to climb up or move into urban areas. 
  • Grazing – There are hundreds of acres of undeveloped or protected land in our Regional Parks. Goats and sheep are ideal for vegetation management and are great at eating down weeds, bushes and grass that manned crews cannot get to. Grazing is expected to occur between April and the end of June.
  • Annual Encroachment Permits – Residents who live adjacent to Regional Parks’ properties are able to apply for free annual encroachment permits to maintain a fire break behind their property line. These allow residents to string-trim grass and weeds for up to 50 feet beyond their private property line. To request a permit, provide your name, address and contact information to Regional Parks at parksinfo@SacCounty.gov
 
Additionally, the Ranger Division will continue its increased education and enforcement efforts related to illegal fires and cooking along the parkway in an effort to reduce the number of new fire outbreaks. 
 
Visitors to Sacramento County Regional Parks should be aware of the following regulations:
  • Open flame fires are not allowed and barbequing is only permitted in designated picnic areas.
  • Smoking is only allowed in developed picnic areas, asphalt surfaces, golf courses and levee tops along the American River Parkway.

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