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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on a plan to expedite fuels reduction treatments and fire protection efforts near high fire-risk areas on public lands in California and northwest Nevada. The statewide Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fuels treatments programmatic Environmental Assessment (SWFT pEA) aims to complete projects on approximately 900,000 acres of public land over the next ten years.

“Wildfires have had catastrophic effects on communities and surrounding public land resources,” said BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen. “This initiative is designed to reduce the intensity, severity, and spread of wildfire in and around communities, supporting community infrastructure and surrounding lands by reducing hazardous fuels.”

Large-scale wildfires are increasing exponentially throughout the western states with California experiencing more than 8,000 wildfires in 2021, burning nearly 2.5 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. For fiscal year 2021, the BLM in California funded 55 fuels projects and 62 community assistance activities. The BLM treated nearly 26,000 acres across the state to reduce hazardous fuels, modify wildfire behavior, create fire resilient landscapes, and protect communities and critical infrastructure.

The BLM will work with local governments, Native American Tribes, and other partners to develop the plan. Public comments that will assist in the development of the environmental analysis, include locations of priority emergency access routes, utility corridors and infrastructure protection and local economic values at risk.

Public comments will be accepted through December 29, 2021 and may be submitted via the project website: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2016583/510 or by email: blm_ca_swft_ea@blm.gov. For additional project information, contact the BLM at the email address above.