Friday, March 06, 2009

FYP - For Your Protection

In June 2008, a wildfire burned approximately 300 acres in Owl and Buckeye Canyons. During the post-fire analysis, it was recognized that a second line of protection for the homes along Trinity and Kings would be better protected if the fuel load along the wildland interface was reduced. The land in this area is owned by San Mateo County Parks and the California Dept. of Fish and Game. Staff contacted both these agencies to see if they would consent to Brisbane creating a firebreak - an area of reduced vegetation that acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a wildfire. The below project map was produced after staff met with CAL Fire and Fire Safe representatives:

The top half of the left-most dark line represents Trinity, the bottom half being Kings Rd. The project site is shaded to the left of the line.

Upon getting the necessary permits from the County in December and notifying residents of the work taking place in January, construction of the firebreak got underway January 28th. A hand crew from Ben Lomond CDC has been clearing out the taller brush and "limbing" up the trees (cutting the lower limbs to reduce fuel levels). Working Tuesday - Thursday from 11:00am - 2:45pm, their goal, along with CAL Fire, North County Fire Authority, San Mateo County Parks is to slow a fire approaching the homes on Trinity and Kings, as well as enable engines and equipment to be defensible if a fire were ever to occur in that area.
The following photos - taken by Klaus Zalinskis, NCFA Safety Inspector - will provide a pictoral portrayal of the work that's been done so far:
Limbing up a Eucalyptus:

A Fire Captain from CAL Fire helping to oversee the crew: Mark Lee, NCFA Safety Inspector arriving at the site with Leland Simmons from Brisbane Dept. of Public Works behind him. Public Works has helped tremendously with the efforts, from chipping branches to dropping gravel on areas made muddy by the rains.

Gathering non-native brush such as scotch broom and arranging them in piles for chipping or controlled burning after they've dried:

Wood such as that seen here is available to the public! Feel free to pick some up like the SF Zoo did. They were looking for specific Eucalyptus limbs to use for the building of their koala exhibit and found them in Brisbane.

You can see the close proximity of the brush to the homes on Trinity and why a 100-ft. firebreak was needed in order for them to be better protected:

They say that anything of value takes effort. In this case the effort is making a noticeable difference.

Work will continue on the construction of the firebreak as long as crews from Ben Lomond are available. Currently, over half of the project has been completed. If you haven't yet, go up to Trinity and check out all the progress that's been made already. Again, this project would not have been possible without the collective efforts of CAL Fire, North County Fire Authority, San Mateo Co. Parks, and our very own Brisbane Public Works Crew! Kudos to all!

Also, FYP...please do NOT use the fields when they are muddy due to them being slippery and wet. The City has a field use policy for this reason and to ensure they can be properly maintained - using the field when it's still muddy results in hunks of sod being ripped out. Groups who regularly use any of the athletic fields (BES, Lipman, or Mission Blue) are to first obtain a field use permit from the Parks and Recreation Dept. If you should observe any groups using the fields when they are still muddy, please contact the Brisbane Police Dept. at 467-1212. Thank you for your assistance in keeping Brisbane a safe place to live, work, and play!

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