Rafter blocking impedes attic ventilation

Hello...I'm renovating a house (in Massachusetts) and will be installing ridge and soffit vents. There is rafter blocking taking up all the space between the top plate and roof sheathing, so no air will get by. What is the purpose of this blocking, and can I remove it? The house was built in 1926 and is a cape style with full gable roof.
thanks, jim
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<< What is the purpose of this blocking, and can I remove it? >>
Might be there as a fire stop.to conform to some older building code. Best check with a local building inpsector to be sure. Good luck.
Joe
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