The western perimeter of the Veterans Home campus is exposed to rugged steep hillsides of unmanaged and densely overgrown vegetation. This fuel break project will help defend the Vets Home against future wildfire damage. The 2017 Napa fires threatened this resident population and evacuation warnings affected the 800+ Military Vets living on-site and associated staff workers. Holderman Hospital is also on the premises, providing medical care to the Veterans. The Veterans Home is considerably challenged in carrying out evacuations of this large-scale population including those who are non-ambulatory and elder aged.
This fuel break project is designed to halt or moderate wildfire spread before reaching the densely developed portion of the Yountville Veterans Home community. Old dozer lines were re-established, and crews have been hard at work thinning vegetation 50ft on each side of these dozer lines, including removing understory brush, dead trees, and thinning out some of the young, highly flammable trees, such as California bay or grey pine. The goal is to establish a healthy oak woodland, more resilient to wildfire and where fire can be managed. This work could be maintained going forward with grazing or control burns.