posted by Jack
In October 2018, just under two years before the deadly Bear Fire leveled Berry Creek, the community was selected to receive an $836,000 state grant for pruning vegetation and clearing fuel from potential fire spots. However, strict environmental red tape delayed the grant and in the meantime Berry Creek was burned to the ground. Can’t blame this on climate change – this one belongs to the democrats.
BERRY CREEK FIRE-PREVENTION PROJECT FROM 2018 STYMIED BY RED TAPE
Strangled by delays and red tape, the forest management project was never completed, said local officials, who are now left to stew over the what-ifs.
“I can’t guarantee that it would’ve stopped the fire, but it would have given them a place to fight it,” said Bill Connelly, a Butte County supervisor representing the district that includes Berry Creek. “It very much could have made a difference.”
The grant was meant to go toward vegetation thinning and pruning projects near Bald Rock and Rockefeller roads — key evacuation routes — and Lake Madrone, an area that became ground zero of the North Complex Fire.
The delay, Butte County officials said, was due to stringent environmental reviews, despite this being exactly the kind of fire-prevention work at the forefront of the state’s wildfire conversation.
It’s impossible to know whether the grant could have saved Berry Creek from a disaster like the North Complex, which has burned more than 273,000 acres and been blamed for 15 deaths — but officials said it might have at least given the community a fighting chance.