Success Story Placerville Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project


 Clear Creek/Placerville Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project

Idaho City Ranger District - Fiscal Year 2011

Boise National Forest


Project Description


Beginning in 2011, the Clear Creek/Placerville Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project conducted mechanical treatments across 600 acres within the Idaho City Ranger District with funding received in Fiscal Year 2011 and continuing into 2012. With the help of “Above Base” funding, this stewardship project helped to reduce hazardous fuels near the community of Placerville and the Clear Creek subdivision about 25 miles northeast of Boise.


The objectives were to: lower hazardous fuel accumulations, reduce the risk of uncharacteristic fire, and increase the likelihood of initial attack success. These fuels treatments could decrease crown fire potential, supplied biomass for a nearby co-generation plant, provided opportunities for private sector employment, and hopefully provides increased fire protection for Placerville and Clear Creek.


 Treatments have occurred on other nearby projects.  The Bureau of Land Management contributed $40K to treat 250 acres and the Star Ranch Subdivision committed $160K through the federal Stevens Grant funding to treat 300 acres near that subdivision. This example of successful integrated funding adds to these and many other completed interagency fuels reduction partnerships in this Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area. It also supplies resources to local industry to develop products from small diameter vegetation in an effective and cost efficient manner.



 Sample photo of an untreated area near Idaho City Untreated area










Implementation Plan

Local contractors were selected to provide the work. The treatment adjoining Placerville included thinning 350 acres with biomass and commercial fuel wood removal.  Around Clear Creek contractors thinned approximately 250 acres. Woody residual material was used to produce bio-energy products (co-gen fuel and stove fuel pellets).  Woody material in areas that are inaccessible to yarding will be hand piled to reduce slash loading. Those piles were burned in subsequent years, and the project was completed in 2013.


 Sample photo of a treated area near Idaho City

Treated Area

 The contractors used material down to a 4-inch top to produce chips for bio-energy. The contractors minimized slash by yarding whole trees to landings which increases the effectiveness of biomass utilization.





 Thinning and prescribed burning near homes

Thinning and prescribed burning near homes

 Other projects completed in this increasing WUI area over the past 7 years have incorporated commercial and pre-commercial thinning, mastication, pile burning and prescribed fire. They include Alder Stewardship, Mack Pine, Star Gulch, and Little Ophir.  


Project contact– Allyn Spanfellner,, Idaho City Ranger District Fuels AFMO, 208-392-3721