b) Fire Suppression
The existence of transmission lines can hinder fire suppression in wildland areas, especially aerial operations. Therefore, both Alternative 5 and Alternative 2 would constrain the ability to aggressively fight a wildland fire in the vicinity of either route. Ridge-top locations are considered especially important to fire suppression and Alternative 2 attempts to minimize any hindrance the transmission line may cause to fire suppression by placing the transmission line in a mid-slope location rather than along the ridge top. Alternative 5 presents little direct effect on fire fighting on the ANF because it largely avoids ANF lands, but a transmission line outside the ANF also presents a hindrance to aggressive fire fighting. The route for Alternative 5 would require transmission towers on Sierra Pelona ridge just outside the Forest boundary. Alternative 5 also traverses several inhabited rural and semi-rural areas not affected by Alternative 2, including portions of Leona Valley and Agua Dulce, where protection of homes and property would likely become a priority in the event of a wildland fire in that area. Therefore, fire fighting is problematic for both alternatives.