Getting Ready for Another Wildfire Season Near the COTP

The 2020 wildfire season is well on its way (https://www.fire.ca.gov/stats-events/). The Modoc National  Forest opened the Long Bell Fire Station by May 15, 2020 (https://www.tanc.us/wildfire-preparation-and-response/). The station is fully staffed with one engine seven days a week for the duration of the fire season.  One of the first activities after opening the station was to clear the access roads to the California-Oregon Transmission Project (COTP) transmission towers. Twenty-five miles of shared U.S. Forest Service and COTP access roads were patrolled and cleared in May and early June. Modoc National Forest crews routinely use TANC-funded utility transport vehicles (UTVs) to locate and clear road obstructions that could include downed trees, brush, and other obstructions resulting from the prior winter’s weather events. The TANC-funded UTVs also play an important ongoing role in supporting rapid responses to wildfire starts and assisting in access road maintenance projects. Full access capabilities to the COTP right of way is essential for fire response crews and vehicles.