SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Officials with San Bernardino National Forest will be working on two projects along Forest Road 1N09 (locally pronounced with the letter “O” instead of a zero) between Highway 330 and Angelus Oaks, Calif. Visitors should prepare for closures and delays.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 1, a seven-mile section of the road between Highway 330 and Forest Road 1N16 will be closed. Construction crews will be smoothing out the road and concrete-hardening five creek crossings, where precipitation events regularly wash out the road. The road’s reopening is slated for Nov. 7, 2018.
Beginning mid-October outside Angelus Oaks, crews will be working on the Santa Ana Fuelbreak at Forest Road 1N09 and Deer Creek, working their way 19 miles west to Highway 330 over the next several months. The road will remain open, but visitors should be prepared for delays as equipment and crews will be working along the road. Dust kicked up by work may look like smoke coming from the area.
The Santa Ana Fuelbreak is a historic, strategic fuelbreak along Forest Road 1N09 that gives firefighters a safe place to work between large fires and communities. Crews will be creating a 50 ft. buffer on each side of the road by thinning and masticating vegetation, rearranging fuel loading from 10 to 12-foot high brush to ground cover. This will reduce flame lengths and increase the effectiveness of aerial retardant.
Both of these projects are partially funded by a California Dept. of Water Resources Proposition 84 (2006) grant via the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA), which works to address watershed challenges. As homes to headwaters feeding the Santa Ana River Watershed, the San Bernardino and Cleveland national forests encompass approximately 30% of the watershed’s land mass, yet capture an estimated 90% of annual precipitation, due to greater amounts falling at higher elevations. The headwaters of the watershed are immensely important. Projects like these ensure increased water supply reliability, improve water quality, reduce impacts from catastrophic wildfires and enhance habitat for a watershed with six million people.
For questions, the public can call the Front Country Ranger District office at 909-382-2851.