Catalina Island Golf Course Back 9 Firebreak
Wildfires devastated California in 2017. A wildfire almost destroyed Avalon in 2007. A primary solution to wildfires should be firebreaks. This is verified by Catalina Island building firebreaks after the 2007 fire. Strategically placed firebreaks can prevent wildfires. Catalina Island can implement another natural wildfire protection barrier - expansion of the current 9-hole golf course. Such an expansion to the eastern part of the golf course would be a very effective barrier to a wildfire entering Avalon from that direction. The re-vegetation to fairway grasses and other more fire resistant plant strains would provide significant wildfire protection for the City of Avalon.
Catalina Island Golf Course
There have been many ideas about constructing nine more holes at the Catalina Island Country Club golf course. The course originally had 18 holes. Yet no such plan has included the supplemental aspect of serving as a city-saving firebreak. This makes such a plan not only financially viable, because who can put a price on saving Avalon, but also justifies the water use at the site.
Water consumption for such a firebreak addition to the golf course should not be an issue because recent on-site groundwater tests showed enough capacity to support operation of the facility. The course is currently irrigated with its own groundwater.
On May 10, 2007, a major fire started on Catalina Island north of the city of Avalon near a radio station transmission facility. Approximately, 5,000 acres were burned and the fire destroyed much of the electrical infrastructure that delivered power from SCE's Pebbly Beach Generating Station to Catalina's inland communities. This was due to destruction of wooden poles that held up distribution power lines. SCE was not responsible for the fire.
The bottom line is that not only can Avalon not be without power due to wildfire destruction of its electricity lines, the city cannot be destroyed due to an uncontrolled wildfire. The lives of Avalon residents and the infrastructure of the city, including homes and businesses, are simply too important to leave up to chance (change in wind direction that saved the city in 2007). We must implement all viable options to prevent such a catastrophe. The golf course addition is one of those practical options.
This effect will require the aggressive cooperation of the City of Avalon, The Catalina Island Conservancy, the Catalina Island Company and Southern California Edison (an easement allows their lines to run across the golf course).