Wildfire Resiliency Planning for Mail Ridge

Project summary

The purpose of this project is to advance the planning of a multi-phased fuel reduction project identified as a priority project in the Humboldt County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) along and adjacent to the crest of Mail Ridge, a 54-mile-long strategic ridgeline in southern Humboldt and northern Mendocino Counties. This ambitious project aims to increase wildfire resiliency, protect nearby communities from fire risk, and make significant progress toward the restoration of traditionally low-intensity fire landscapes. Planning for Mail Ridge is a highly collaborative effort building upon years of sustained coordination among project partners including the Coastal Conservancy and the Trees Foundation.

This project is widely supported and championed by the community. It incorporates a workforce development component that leverages the operational capabilities of the Briceland Volunteer Fire Department’s (VFD) alongside the mutual aid structures of other volunteer fire departments in southern Humboldt County. The objective is to train qualified firefighters, thereby enhancing local capacity for forestry/fuels crews, facilitating the execution of planned treatments, and bolstering critical recruitment and retention efforts for the VFD, particularly in the face of a declining local economy. The Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT) Natural Resources Department will support the participation of RVIT tribal youth in the project’s training and future employment opportunities.


Treatment types will include shaded fuel breaks in closed-canopy forests, non-shaded fuel breaks in areas occupied by brush and small trees, treatments to reverse encroachment by conifers in historic oak woodlands, and broadcast burning in grasslands and savannas. Treatment methods will include manual treatment using chainsaws, brushcutters, and other hand tools; mechanical treatment using masticators; and prescribed fire. Preliminary area estimates by treatment type include: 871 acres of shaded fuel break, 607 acres of oak woodland restoration, 1,002 acres of broadcast burn, and 119 acres of other treatment types 

This project received funding from the State Coastal Conservancy. The Coastal Conservancy is a California state agency, established in 1976, to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, to help people get to and enjoy the outdoors, and to sustain local economies along California’s coast. It acts with others to protect and restore, and increase public access to, California’s coast, ocean, coastal watersheds, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Its vision is of a beautiful, restored, and accessible coast for current and future generations of Californians.