Projects

New Projects to Help Our Community

You can help with the work the Fire Safe Council is doing to prepare for a likely wildfire in our community.  These projects follow the New Project Policy of SSFSC

After careful consideration the SSFSC has adopted a policy listing the most important projects we feel we should try to do in the near future. These are in addition to what we are doing already: we need new volunteers to help.

Most of the projects involve researching a topic and communicating the results to our community members. In brief they are:

  1. Grab & Go Emergency kits
  2. Personal property inventories
  3. Stay and defend decision making
  4. Fight, flee, freeze or faint behavior during a wildfire
  5. Publicity & communications
  6. Fire Preparedness; Organize a 1/2 Day Workshop
  7. Home Survival Evaluation promotion
  8. County & other agency relationship management
  9. Hwy 35 in San Mateo Co.; organize roadside vegetation reduction
  10. Maintenance of prior vegetation reduction projects; 
  11. New Shaded Fuel Breaks on your community road

Each of these projects is similar in size and complexity to others we have already accomplished. Each requires individual initiative and research and will be supported by experienced board members. Some fund-raising may be involved.

For further information on any of these projects, or to volunteer, e-mail SSFSC_Info@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. The process is aided by our Area Coordinators, who provide assistance and explain what is needed in labor and organization to receive funds.

Road / Trail Clearance
We coordinate efforts for Fuel Reduction and Shaded Fuels Breaks along common roads. We aim to reimburse off-highway communities for local projects.
  • 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, other FSCs, 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County is also part of an ongoing effort during August-September, 2016.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Ward Road Truck Trail project is underway in 2016 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.
  • 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.

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.  These involve interacting with County Supervisors.

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, cannibals cultivation)

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.

Members attend other FireSafe Council meetings and actively reach out and gather information on relevant topics, such as emergency preparedness, forest health, and other Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) concerns.

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