At a recent meeting of the Midcoast Community Council, CalFire Division Chief Rich Sampson outlined the agency’s efforts to reduce the vegetation that is fuel for fire at Quarry Park in El Granada.
Back in December, Sampson explained at the May 8 meeting, CalFire was tasked with identifying three projects in the region that could be completed by the end of 2019. After pinpointing pressing needs at Quarry Park, CalFire received $305,000 for the project.
Within the 500-acre property, CalFire will be working on around 100 acres containing eucalyptus trees. Sampson said that the intent is to create a shaded fuel break along the park’s main access roads, as well as at the fringes of the park’s perimeter behind several nearby homes.
“(We’re) trying to get ahead of the curve,” he added. “All of the other projects were not enough and not (done) quickly enough.”
Sampson said that workers will aim to remove all trees less than 10 inches in diameter within the fuel breaks. Some larger trees will also need to be removed, he continued, if they are infringing on road access to the areas surrounding the park or show signs of significant degradation.
“We’re working closely with county parks on this (because) this is their property,” said Sampson. “The county arborist is working with my crews, on the ground, to finish layout on this.”
Sampson said that CalFire hopes to begin the work in early June. The department is aiming to have the project completed by early October.
“It’s going to be very ambitious to get this done in time,” said Sampson. “But those are the orders that we’ve been given and we feel that we have enough of a budget to get this work done this year.”