"A fire-adapted community is a knowledgeable and engaged community
The Fire Safe Camp Meeker project involves restoring the forest around us closer to what it was like before it was logged, in order to reduce fire risk. We will do this by using volunteers to do straight-forward work near where they live, and bringing in outside professionals to do more difficult work, like cutting down trees which are close to houses or power lines.
The restored forest would consist predominantly of well-spaced redwoods, with a mixture of other species such as big leaf maples, tan oaks, madrones, as well as large specimen bay laurels and Douglas Firs, an understory of scattered hazlenuts and huckleberries, a large number of ferns and a carpet of wildflowers such as redwood sorrel, native irises and violets, trilliums and spotted adders tongues.
Fire Safe Camp Meeker was started by Camp Meeker residents, is run by Camp Meeker residents and all decisions are made by Camp Meeker residents. We are doing this project because experts tell us that our community is under "extreme threat" of wildfire danger, because of high fuel loads, sudden oak death and changing climate.
This is a large-scale, long-term project. It might take 20 years to get the forest looking more like the photo at the top of this page. However, by setting priorities appropriately, it should be possible to get 80% of the fire safety benefit in just 20% of the time.
Our first priority is to remove dead trees along all internal roads within Camp Meeker, so people can safely escape if a large fire starts.
Since most fires start near roads, and since we had three arson fires in 2016 and 2017, all within 100 feet of Bohemian Highway, we also want to establish alternate exit routes toward Occidental and Willow Creek Rd.
Volunteers will be appropriately trained, certified, equipped and organized. They will work with proper consideration for ecological issues, and with legal authorization from government agencies and landowners. The volunteers will also be properly insured, with liability and injury coverage.
Fire Safe Camp Meeker has already hit many important milestones, and is currently applying for a fire prevention grant from Cal Fire.
A large-scale forest restoration needs many details worked out, so a very early draft of a proposal document has been put together which can serve as a starting point for discussion between all of the stakeholders in the process.