Wildfire Prevention

Download: Wildfire Prevention Postcard [PDF]

Dear East Bay Regional Park Neighbor,
A year-round fire season is now the “new normal” in California, and we must work together to prevent a catastrophic firestorm here at home. The East Bay Regional Park District is committed to wildfire prevention in our parks. We are actively working every day monitoring fire weather conditions, reducing the fuel load in our parks, and maintaining healthy forests by thinning excessive growth. While our efforts to reduce the risk of severe wildfires are extensive, it’s the collective efforts of homeowners and neighbors like you that can have the greatest impact. By reducing fire fuels around your home and taking other precautions, you can help prevent small fires from becoming large disasters. The Park District works in partnership with local and regional fire agencies. Your city or local fire department or agency can provide additional guidance on fuels management, emergency notifications, and evacuation routes.
Sincerely,
Aileen Theile
Fire Chief
East Bay Regional Park District

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Create and maintain defensible space 30-100 feet around your home. Watch for and understand Red Flag warnings and follow all restrictions on burning and use of power equipment.

The defensible space is made up of Two Zones

ZONE 1: 30 feet of Lean, Clean and Green

  • Remove all dead plants, grass, weeds and overgrown brush.
  • Clean leaves, needles, and debris from roofs and rain gutters.
  • Keep tree branches 10 feet away from chimney, roof and other trees.
  • Move firewood and fuel tanks 30 feet from house.
  • Remove all items from under deck. Do not use this space for storage.
  • Fire harden your home. Install fine wire mesh over roof, eave and foundation vents.

ZONE 2: 30-100 feet of Reduced Fuel

  • Mow grass to a maximum of 4 inches. Mow before 10 a.m. and never on a hot, windy, or red flag day.
  • Create vertical spacing between grass, shrubs, and trees. Trim trees 10 feet from the ground and 6 feet from other plants. Large trees do not need to be removed if the plants beneath them are removed. This eliminates the vertical fire ladder.
  • Create horizontal spacing between trees and shrubs.
  • Choose and plant fire resistant native plants.

WHAT WE ARE DOING:

  • Maintaining a professional, 50+ member fire department, fire stations, and equipment.
  • Clearing heavy underbrush and thinning our dense park forests.
  • Reducing vegetation with cattle, goat, and sheep grazing.
  • Removing hazardous trees.
  • Monitoring effects on habitat and wildlife populations, e.g. nesting birds.
  • Partnering with communities, and local and state agencies such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), providing mutual aid including use of District helicopter.

Each year the Park District thins and removes hazardous vegetation on over 1,000 acres to reduce fire hazard – much of that thanks to residents in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties who voted in 2004 to support regional park services with additional local funding. The Park District also recently received fire hazard reduction grant funding from FEMA.

See a potential fire hazard in the parks? Report it by calling (510) 881-1833

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