The SR-17 Shaded Fuel Break Project

Anyone who lives around or travels along State Route 17  — otherwise known as Highway 17 —  should be concerned about the possibility of wildfire. 

The SR-17 Shaded Fuel Break Project is part of a larger plan to target evacuation routes in California’s WUIs (Wildland Urban Interfaces). A WUI is a zone where wildland (undeveloped land) meets urban development, like much of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The state of emergency proclaimed by Governor Newsom identified 35 areas most vulnerable to wildfire, including the 6.5 mile stretch of SR-17 between the Town of Los Gatos and Summit Road. Fuel reduction efforts along this evacuation route will also include parts of communities adjacent to the highway such as Redwood Estates and Chemeketa Park.

Critical infrastructure, such as power transmission and distribution lines, San Jose Water Company’s water treatment plant at Lexington Reservoir, Chemeketa Park’s water intake, and CAL FIRE’s Alma Fire Station & Helitack Base will be protected by the shaded fuel break.

Likewise, the Santa Cruz Mountains’ valuable wildlife habitats and recreation areas will benefit.

The majority of the project will occur off of the highway. will provide residents and drivers with information about what to expect around Highway 17 during the project. The website will be updated with maps and current project details as information becomes available.

The SR17 Shaded Fuel Break Project is a collaboration between these public agencies and is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment. 

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