The EIR concluded that the project and its wildfire prevention plan would reduce the risk of wildfires on the 16,000-acre site, a portion of which has burned during the LNU Lightning Complex fire.
The project proposes a new fire and emergency response center, an advanced fire detection and notification system, and a float plane dock and emergency helipads that could be used by firefighting aircraft.
While the Board of Supervisors was reviewing the project, officials with the state Department of Justice sent two letters arguing that the EIR didn’t adequately analyze the risk of wildfires. Even after developers made last-minute changes, including the removal of 16 proposed lots on dead-end roads, the Department of Justice maintained that the analysis was “inadequate.”
“The California attorney general has repeatedly raised concerns about the county’s failure to analyze the increased risk of wildfire ignitions from the development and how the project would affect wildfire evacuations in the region,” the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement. “Located in a remote area of the state with a long history of wildfires, the project site is accessible only by a single two-lane road. Many fires are ignited by human sources, so development increases fire risk.”
Lake County representatives and an attorney for the developers could not be reached for comment.