Independence Fire Safe Council reports on fire break project

Register Staff
Staff Writer

Area residents may have noticed CalFire trucks and lots of work going on behind the Eastern California Museum on the west side of Independence lately.
This work is associated with the fire break project that the Independence Fire Safe Council notified Independence residents of via a mailer last month.
According to Bill Michael of the fire safe council, the Onion Valley fire break project is a coordinated effort between the Independence Volunteer Fire Department, the Independence Fire Safe Council, Inyo County, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and CalFire meant to provide a buffer zone of protection in the event of a catastrophic wildfire.
Independence was listed as having a nationwide percentile risk of 75% for wildfire risk and 76% for fire risk to homes in the recent Headwater Economics publication titled “Wildfire Risk to Communities.”
The fire break project will help to reduce these risks.
The project is California Environmental Quality Act compliant and seeks to avoid conflicts with wildlife and their habitat.
Additionally, the project planning was coordinated with members of the California Native Plant Society to ensure that the Mary DeDecker Native Plant garden adjacent to the museum will not be significantly impacted.
Work near the native plant garden will not be included in this phase of the project, but will rather be conducted at a later date after representatives for the garden can be present to coordinate with CalFire.
“It was important that the fire safe council balanced mitigations meant to help protect our town and residents with protection of our small town treasures like the native plant garden,” Michael said.
The Independence Fire Safe Council has been very active lately and is planning a free green waste drop-off program next month. This will allow residents to clean brush and debris from their yards and bring those materials to a roll-off dumpster paid for by the fire safe council.
More information on this event will be released shortly.
For more information contact the Independence Fire Safe Council at
The interest in fire safe councils, which work to educate people about fire risks and what they can do to prevent them, continues to grow in Inyo County.
Last summer, the community of Wilkerson was working to form its own fire safe council to help address the community’s fire danger.