Silver Trail/Milliken Creek Fuel Reduction Project

After consulting with CalFire and firefighting professionals, the Silverado Fire Safe Council (FSC) undertook its first “Council-funded” fuels reduction project behind homes on Silver Trail alongside Milliken Creek. If a wildfire were to spread to Milliken Creek behind the homes on Silver Trail and Kaanapali, it is possible that it could spread to the homes, precipitating home-to-home ignition, especially if defensible space and home hardening efforts have not been completed by each homeowner. By thinning this area, the Council hopes to reduce this possibility.

The Council received approval from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to perform work in the creek and solicited three bids from different vendors for the project. The project extended the project previously funded by Senator Bill Dodd’s holiday party benefitting firewise. The Dodd-funded project started at the Silverado Resort mansion along Milliken Creek behind the B&C condos but ended at the homes along Silver Trail.

The final estimate for the project was $21K from JMC Valley Construction, the same vendor who completed the larger fuel break around the entire Silverado community. Thanks to generous donations from Silverado residents throughout the community the Council was able to fund the project. A number of residents from Silver Trail and Kaanapali stepped up and made tax-deductible contributions specifically to the project. It is amazing what we can accomplish when everyone comes together around a common goal, especially around community safety!

The Napa Communities Firewise Foundation (NCFF) is the fiscal sponsor of the Silverado FSC and facilitated implementation of the project. Thanks to the Fuels Mitigation Program Director Mike Wilson and Field Monitors Emily Guidas and Kevin Kyle, the project was finished in June 2023. Local Silver Trail residents Kathy Oates, Alison Christianson, and Diana Zapolski worked hard to obtain signed landowner agreements to allow work on their property and encourage donations. Kaanapali residents Garry Gordon and Con Hewitt also helped raise funds.

The work completed included vegetation management along the creek from the end of the B&C condo project to Atlas Peak. The vendor removed invasive ivy, poison oak, and blackberry vines. They also pruned multiple Coast live oaks and Valley oaks along the creek border. Dead limbs were removed and ladder fuels cleared. The result is remarkable.

a 'before' shot of the brush that got thinned as part of the Silver Trail project
a ‘before’ shot of the brush that got thinned as part of the Silver Trail project
an 'after' shot of the Silver Trail fuels reduction work
an ‘after’ shot of the Silver Trail fuels reduction work
aerial view of the Silverado FSC fuels reduction area on Silver Trail
aerial view of Silver Trail area

The Silverado Fire Safe Council is working toward making the Silverado community safer from wildfire. Since 2017, the Council has promoted safety in the Silverado community through collaboration with all interested and affected home/landowners to reduce the risk of wildfire damage. The Council accomplishes this through fire fuel reduction and community action around defensible space and home hardening best practices.

The Silverado FSC has several more projects planned in the community for which we need tax-deductible donations.  For more information, please contact the Silverado FSC Steering Committee members: Linda Cantey, Alison Christianson, Susan Deringer, Kathryn Henry, or Diana Zapolski