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Fire Safety meeting packed the Pacific Union College Church Fireside Room in Angwin

The agencies of Napa County sparked intense interest last March for members of the Angwin community to listen to presentations from the Napa County Sheriff, Napa County Fire Chief, Napa County Office of Emergency Services, and Angwin Volunteer Fire Department on making Angwin safe in the aftermath of October wildland fires.

Beginning in January, Pacific Union College plans to begin work on an approximately 3-mile shaded fuel break. It is designed to protect the college and Angwin community from a wildfire that comes from the east.

With financial support from community members and alumni, the college plans to construct a shaded fuel break on a prominent ridge between Pope Valley and Angwin, running from Howell Mountain Road to the Las Posadas State Forest.

Angwin Volunteer Fire Department Chief J.R. Rogers said, “A shaded fuel break is a great fire prevention measure that reduces fuel levels in key locations and helps to slow a fire’s rate of spread, giving us a defensible location so we can ultimately suppress the forward momentum of a fire.”

A public meeting to address questions and concerns will be held at 11 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 2 in the Fireside Room at the Pacific Union College Church, 10 Angwin Ave., located adjacent to the college. This meeting will be followed at noon by a field tour of the shaded fuel break, starting from Helmer & Sons Construction at 910 Howell Mountain Road.

In 2014, the college began working with the Land Trust of Napa County and Cal Fire to conserve more than 800 acres of forested land in a conservation easement. Now known as the PUC Demonstration and Experimental Forest, it is used for student activities and scientific research projects, as well as recreation for both college and community members.

“The forest is part of our rich heritage here on Howell Mountain. It provides welcome opportunities for both education and recreation in a pristine forested setting,” said PUC president Dr. Robert Cushman.

PUC has developed a Cal Fire-approved Forest Stewardship Plan, which outlines management goals and objectives (available at www.pucforest.com). This plan includes fire mitigation work, of which the shaded fuel break is only the initial phase.

Margo Kennedy, the co-chair of Angwin Fire Safe Council, said, “Our council is in full support of the PUC forest shaded fuel break. This shaded fuel break is an essential and immediately important endeavor to help protect the community of Angwin.”

If you wish to support this project, visit http://puc.fund/firemitigation. All donations are tax deductible.

For more information, contact PUC Forest Management at forestry@puc.edu or (707) 965-7635.

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