Firesafe Projects

Projects to Help Our Community

You can help with the valuable work the South Skyline Fire Safe Council is doing to prepare for a likely wildfire in our community. The many projects and initiatives we tackle require individual initiative and research and will be supported by experienced board members. We are all volunteers and conduct rewarding and valuable work to help our community.

For further information on any of these and other projects, or to volunteer, e-mail SSFSC.Outreach@gmail.com or contact any of the Board Members.


Current and Past Fuel Load Reduction

We help homeowners create or improve defensible space around their homes by clearing brush and getting the material chipped. SSFSC supports chipping grants in all three counties, conducts Free Chipping Days twice a year and provides partial reimbursement where grants are unavailable. 

Road / Trail Clearance
We coordinate efforts for Fuel Reduction and Shaded Fuels Breaks along common roads. We also have a program to reimburse off-highway communities for local projects.
  • In 2020, a shaded fuel break along various roads within Portola Heights will begin, once camping is allowed in local parks to accommodate the crews.  The funding for this was from a CalFire Grant awarded to SSFSC in 2017.  Work will be done by Calif Conservation Corps crews.
  • The Goat Trail (southern section State Route 35) 2019 Phase I project was completed in 2019 with other phases to follow in 2020.
  • In 2018, a Shaded Fuel Break was created along Charcoal Road from Skyline Blvd north to the headwaters of Stevens Creek.  It was a joint project between SSFSC, Santa Clara FireSafe Council, MROSD, CalFire and Santa Clara County Parks. Almost 35 acres treated, 61 crew days and almost 5000 man-hours expended.  
  • The Black Road Project focused on Black Rd as it joins Skyline Boulevard within the Council boundaries was the focus of an earlier brush clearing project.
  • The Ward Road Truck Trail project, 2016-2017, in coordination with CCC, State Parks, Calfire, MROSD, San Mateo County Parks and Redtree Properties. A shaded fuel break provides firefighting access to a large tract of wild land in the upper Pescadero Creek watershed.
  • Grants from PG&E in 2015 in a joint project with the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council created a shaded fuel break along Alpine Road between Skyline Boulevard and Portola State Park Road.
  • In 2015 we received a grant from the Sempervirens Fund and used it to assist State Parks clear decades of uncontrolled chaparral growth engulfing campsites -- and fire pits -- in the Castle Rock State Park Trail Camp off Skyline Boulevard.
  • Proposition 40 funds created a shaded fuel break in the Portola Heights neighborhood off of Skyline Boulevard throughout five miles of roadway.  Crews from the California Conservation Corps (CCC) worked a 28-day span in February and March, 2015 to complete this work together with supervision by area residents.
  • Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County is also part of an ongoing effort during August-September, 2016.
  • We also received a grant from PG&E to reduce fuel load along Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County. in both 2014 and 2016.  The Summer, 2016 work is continuing. Both the 2014 and 2016 work is being performed by CalFire crews, Caltrans providing chippers and lane closures and pilot vehicles and several SSFSC volunteer supervisors.
  • In 2012 we managed clearance of vegetation encroaching on Skyline Boulevard in Santa Cruz County between Highway 9 and Black Road using part of the Federal grant funds obtained for the Kings Creek Truck Trail.  We partnered with Caltrans, CalFire Fire Crews and community volunteers
  • Between 2010 and 2015 we managed clearance of obstructing vegetation and performed two years' vegetation maintenance on the 8-mile long Kings Creek Truck Trail, a critical access route to fight fires in one of the largest wild land areas in Santa Cruz County.  Funds and support were provided by 2 large Federal grants, Proposition 40, the SRA Fee in our taxes, CalFire, State Parks, Santa Cruz Resource Conservation District and by a lot of local community volunteer supervisory labor.  A summer, 2016 project to cleanup the recently regrown areas within the fuel reduction area is now complete. See KCTT2016 for details.

Outreach

Our articles and flyers have appeared in the local South Skyline Association publication, Skylines. We have participated in SSA meetings, bringing speakers, equipment and information for residents to view.  

Topics include:
  • Defensible Space chipping programs and applications for funds
  • Property insurance issues
  • Emergency equipment, such as portable pumps and fire retardants
  • Coordination with the South Skylines Emergency Preparedness organization
  • Roadside fuel reduction, including brochures and special inserts in Skylines
  • Advocate for fire safety among all commercial organizations within the South Skyline FireSafe Council boundaries (e.g., vineyards, winery, cannabis cultivation)
  • Evacuation Routes, Go Bags
  • Home Hardening and Defensible Space Improvement
  • Lessons Learned from recent local and/or major Wildfires
  • Water tanks and Fire Hydrants

Planning

Our organization meets monthly in the homes of our members and at local agencies, such as Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) and CalFire. Meetings include representatives from those organizations.

SSFSC Board members also act as Liaisons with other FireSafe Councils in our area, attending their meetings and actively reach out and gather information on relevant topics, such as emergency preparedness, forest health, and other Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) concerns.  Some of our Board members also serve on the advisory boards of those FireSafe Councils

Please contact our President (e-mail at left) for information on meetings and activities.