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Fuels Management

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Fuels Management Practices

Wildland fire behavior is controlled by three factors: fuels, weather and topography. Because it is impractical to control the weather and topography around us, the only practical way to modify fire is by managing its fuel source. Fire fuel refers to anything that has the ability to burn and spread fire, like trees, shrubs and dried grass.

The East Bay Regional Park Fire Department uses several different methods to modify or reduce the amount or availability of wildland fuels for any fire that may occur. Ladder and surface fuels such as grass, brush, forest litter, and down logs and branches are modified or removed by hand crews, prescribed fire, mowing, weed-eating, masticating, or animal grazing. Dense tree stands are often thinned to remove some of the trees that typically contributes to fuel loading and to reduce the potential for wildfire to spread in the tree canopies.

For more information about different Fuels Management treatments see Fuels Management Techniques. Adobe Acrobat PDF

Fuels Management Planning

The EBRPD Fire Department follows the Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan as a guiding tool for what fuel management approaches should be used throughout the East Bay Parks. The plan is consulted for strategies to implement the various types of fuels management processes. Because the execution of any project will affect the surrounding environment, the associated Environmental Impact Report (EIR) informs concerned parties about the anticipated effects of implementing the plan.

You can find both resources on the East Bay Hills Wildfire Hazard Reduction And Resource Management Plan and EIR page.

In compliance with the Plan and Environmental Impact Report, the District Fire Department creates an annual work plan of fuels treatment projects. The success of the projects depends largely on the collaborative work that is done with Park Stewardship, Park Operations, park supervisors, and other departments. Follow this link for more information about Our Partners.

2015: Planned Fuels Management Projects and Activities

The downloadable PDF available below, is a list of planned fuels management projects for 2015 that include tree removal, brush reduction, weed-eating, prescribed burning, and goat grazing.

Download2015: Complete List of Fuels Management Projects Adobe Acrobat PDF

Major Fuels Management Projects

Redwood Park – East Ridge Trail Prescribed Burn

The East Bay Regional Park District Fire Department will be conducting a prescribed burn sometime between June 15 and June 29 along the East Ridge Trail. The burn is intended to reduce yellow star thistle populations, an invasive weed that depletes groundwater and crowds out native plants.  The Fire Department plans to burn eight areas along the trail between Skyline Staging area and Pinehurst Rd.,  totaling 4.8 acres. The trail will be closed for the duration of the burn, which is expected to last one day. The project is funded by Measure CC.

Download: Redwood Burn Plan - 2015 Adobe Acrobat PDF

Tilden Park – TI007 Tree Removal Project

Contractors are thinning 5 acres of  the dense eucalyptus and pine stands in Tilden Park along the Seaview Trail  (Recommended Treatment Area TI007 in the Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan).


Tilden Park – Wildcat Canyon Road Wildland Fuels Reduction Contract

Contractors are thinning the dense eucalyptus and pine stands in Tilden Park along Wildcat Canyon Road from the Botanical Garden to Inspiration Point during the first phase of this 49 acre project (Recommended Treatment Area TI004 in the Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan). In addition, several risk trees are being removed along the road to improve the public safety. In the future, crews will be reducing other ladder and surface fuels to help reduce the potential for wildfire spreading into the tree canopies.

Point Pinole Resource and Training Prescribed Broadcast Burn

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline is one of the few remaining sizable areas of land in the East Bay that supports a coastal prairie plant community preserved in a condition close to natural. Burning grassland at Pt. Pinole will simulate wildfire conditions in an effort to reduce competition between the introduced, non-native annual grasses and herbs and the native grasses that represent this plant community, and to stimulate the native grasses to generate new stem and leaf growth in response to fire. Repeated periodic treatments will help restore the coastal prairie plant community to its fullest botanical potential. The District’s Fire Department uses this opportunity as a live fire training exercise.

Download: Point Pinole Burn Plan Adobe Acrobat PDF

goat-grazing2015 Goat Grazing Activities

Visitors to the East Bay Regional Parks may encounter cattle, sheep or goats grazing on the grasslands. The District uses grazing animals as a practical and economic resource management tool. Grazing helps reduce fire hazards by controlling the amount and distribution of grasses and other potential fuel. Around urban settings, goats are often used in conjunction with human work crews and prescribed burns to create fuel breaks –a proactive effort to manage future wildfires.

Download2015 Goat Grazing Schedule Adobe Acrobat PDF

Download: Goat Grazing Brochure Adobe Acrobat PDF

Request for Proposals

Request for proposals are a tool that allows the EBRPD to bring the expertise of vegetation management contractors to implementation of the District’s fuels management projects. The District states what it wants to accomplish, and prospective contractors propose how they would go about completing the job and the costs involved. Once the District has received proposals from interested contractors they, with the clearance from the EBRPD Board of Directors, select one that best meets the needs, objectives, costs, and other factors to complete the fuels management project.

Fuels Maintenance

Fuels-MaintenanceAn important part of the fuels management process is the ongoing maintenance to ensure wildland fuel loads are kept to an acceptable level. Maintenance actions may be required one or more times each year, depending on amount of new vegetation that has grown since the previous treatment.